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On this episode, Dr. Lee Pierce (she/they)–Asst. Prof. of Communication at SUNY Geneseo–interviews Bryan McCann (he/his)–Associate Professor of Communication at Louisiana State University–on a...

On this episode, Dr. Lee Pierce (she/they)–Asst. Prof. of Communication at SUNY Geneseo–interviews Bryan McCann (he/his)–Associate Professor of Communication at Louisiana State University–on a dope new work of cultural criticism The Mark of Criminality: Rhetoric, Race, and Gangsta Rap in the War-on-Crime Era (University of Alabama Press, 2017). The Mark of Criminality positions the work of key gangsta rap artists–Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur–as well as the controversies their work produced, squarely within the law-and-order politics and popular culture of the 1980s and 1990s to reveal a profoundly complex period in American history when the meanings of crime and criminality were incredibly unstable. McCann argues that, among other well-circulated meanings, the mark of criminality was a source of power, credibility, and revenue. By understanding gangsta rap as a potent, if deeply imperfect, enactment of the mark of criminality, we can better understand how crime is always a site of struggle over meaning.