Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Dr.James Popham

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Dr.Andrew Welsh

Advisor Role

Second Reader


Mainstream and alternative media depict individuals differently from one another. In stories covering African American rappers and homicide victims, mainstream and alternative stories use images, phrases, and people to portray certain ideas to their audience. In terms of mainstream news outlets, stories associate criminality onto African American homicide victims and rappers through labeling them as brutes, focusing on the crimes they commit, and highlighting criminal associations (Aquil, 2018; Cochran, 2015; Dukes & Gaither 2018; Wright & Washington, 2019). While alternative outlets have offered sympathetic and well-rounded representations that depict the life, personal accomplishments, and good deeds of an African American victim (Irene, Deckard, & Rodriguez, 2016). Using a Social Constructionist lens, this thesis examines alternative and mainstream media’s depiction of Nipsey Hussle. The goal of this paper was to determine if narratives and labels used with African American homicide victims and rappers are present in the media’s depiction of Nipsey Hussle. From the findings, I found mainstream and alternative outlets to align with their standard presentations of African Americans and show new ways a rapper can be depicted.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season