Jacob Cupps

PhD Music Theory
M.A Washington University in St. Louis
B.A. Anderson University
research interests:
  • aesthetics
  • critical theory
  • modernity
  • music production
  • popular music
  • rap
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    Jacob P. Cupps researches aspects of music production in contemporary rap, interrogating the ways in which hip-hop’s creators articulate identity through sound.

    Jacob is currently developing a thesis that examines close musical readings of underground hip-hop from the last twenty years. His writing focuses on how the use of particular musical techniques in rap supports rappers’ textually-communicated narratives concerning identity. In the future, he plans to further develop his research by blending ethnographic and theoretical approaches.

    Jacob is an alumnus of Anderson University where he studied music theory and was awarded with faculty award for excellence from the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. During his time at Washington University, Jacob has held positions as an AI for Classical Theory I and II, as a Peer Mentor for incoming students, and as the graduate student representative for the department’s Diversity and Equity committee.

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    Conference Presentations
    “Sounding the Underground: Beat Construction and Methods of Alteration in 00s-10s Hip-Hop” International Association for the Study of Popular Music – US Chapter, 2022 Conference