The purpose of this study is to investigate how popular icons and celebrities construct and reflect their identities through the artifacts of fashion and style. Specifically, I seek to examine how hip-hop/rap icons Tupac Amaru Shakur and Christopher George Latore Wallace, more widely known as 2pac and The Notorious B.I.G. respectively, communicated their black identities as well as their unique Los Angeles, California and Brooklyn, New York identities. This study uses the theoretical framework of Damhorst and Morgado in conjunction with cluster analysis to establish themes in both artists’ dress and identities. The research findings suggest that in the beginning of both artists’ careers, they use the fashion of Hip-hop and Rap to establish authenticity. However, both artists’ dress changes later in their careers to exercise authority.


Singh, Rohini


Communication Studies


Speech and Rhetorical Studies | Visual Studies


Tupac, Biggie, Hip-hop, Rap, Fashion, Dress, Black, Culture, Identity

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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