Rap opera

"Hip hopera" redirects here. For the Volume 10 album, see Hip-Hopera.

A rap opera or hip hopera or sometimes urban opera is a musical work in hip hop style with operatic form.[1] The terms have been used to describe both dramatic works and concept albums, and hip hopera has also been used for works drawing more heavily on contemporary R&B than hip hop.


The word hip hopera is a portmanteau of hip hop and opera. An early use of the phrase was a 1994 album of that name by Volume 10 (although not a concept album). The first dramatic production to use the term was a 2001 telefilm by MTV, titled Carmen: A Hip Hopera, directed by Robert Townsend and starring Beyoncé Knowles and Mekhi Phifer.

The word received increased use after 2005, in describing R&B singer R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet series.[2]


See also


  1. Snorton, C. Riley (2009). "Trapped in the Epistemological Closet: Black Sexuality and the 'Ghettocentric Imagination'". Souls. 11 (2): 99. doi:10.1080/10999940902910115. ISSN 1099-9949.
  2. Sumanth Gopinath (19 July 2013). The Ringtone Dialectic: Economy and Cultural Form. MIT Press. pp. 246–. ISBN 978-0-262-01915-6.
  3. Felecia Piggott McMillan (2005). The North Carolina Black Repertory Company: 25 Marvtastic Years. Open Hand Publishing, LLC. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-940880-74-0.
  4. Heffley, Lynne (November 7, 1992). "Rap Opera 'Graffiti' Addresses Plight of the Youth". Los Angeles Times.

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