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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, directed by Robert Townsend and starring Beyoncé Knowles and Mekhi Phifer.
- Graffiti Blues (1992), the first known rap musical to be produced
- A Prince Among Thieves, a 1999 concept album by Prince Paul, telling the story of a young rapper struggling for a break
- Deltron 3030, a 2000 science fiction concept album
- Carmen: A Hip Hopera, a 2001 film based on the 19th-century opera
- Trapped in the Closet (2005–2012), a 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 by Logic
- 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.
- 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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