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|Typical instruments||Turntable, vocals, drum machine, sampler, synthesizer, beatboxing, bass guitar|
A rap opera or hip hopera or sometimes urban opera is a musical work in hip hop style with operatic form. 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. The word received increased use after 2005, in describing R&B singer R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet series.
- Graffiti Blues (1992) by Ron Mokwena and Misha McK, rap opera staged at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium
- A Prince Among Thieves, 1999 concept album by Prince Paul, telling the story of a young rapper struggling for a break
- Deltron 3030 (2000), science fiction concept album
- Carmen: A Hip Hopera (2001), directed by Robert Townsend and starring Beyoncé Knowles and Mekhi Phifer
- Polarity (2003) by Norman (Onry Ozzborn and Barfly)
- A Night at the Hip Hopera (2004) by The Kleptones
- Trapped in the Closet (2005–2012), series of songs and videos by R. Kelly, recounting a string of events following a one-night stand
- Two of Lin-Manuel Miranda's musicals, In the Heights (2007) and Hamilton (2015), have been characterized as rap operas.
- The Incredible True Story (2015) by Logic
- Snorton, C. Riley (2009). "Trapped in the Epistemological Closet: Black Sexuality and the 'Ghettocentric Imagination'". Souls. 11 (2): 99. ISSN 1099-9949. doi:10.1080/10999940902910115.
- Sumanth Gopinath (19 July 2013). The Ringtone Dialectic: Economy and Cultural Form. MIT Press. pp. 246–. ISBN 978-0-262-01915-6.
- 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.
- Heffley, Lynne (November 7, 1992). "Rap Opera Graffiti Addresses Plight of the Youth". Los Angeles Times.
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