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#UrsinusSummer: A Musical Connection

How does music shape who you are? Codi Yhap ’20 is studying the history of rap and its impact on personal identity.


There’s no doubt that people have a unique and personal connection to the music they listen to every day. Codi Yhap ’20, a biology and music double major, is finding his research groove by spending the summer reading and analyzing particularly rap and R&B and its impact on personal identity. 

His goal for the summer is to write a literature review with the support of his co-mentors Edward Onaci, an assistant professor of history, and Rosa Abrahams, an assistant professor of music. The two faculty mentors offer insight from different disciplines to inform Yhap’s summer research. Abrahams helps Yhap examine the musical side of things, sharing her expertise in cognition and as a music theorist. Onaci helps Yhap gather information on the history of rap and they delve into the rich culture and history that includes everything from clothing to graffiti to breakdancing. 

Yhap has also been looking into African American history going back over 100 years before the inception of rap music to examine the historical trends that played a role in leading to the modern musical genre. He plans to take this topic further in a fall music capstone course, explaining, “I hope to take what I’ve learned from my literature review and eventually conduct interviews and compare what people say in those interviews to what is being said in my literary research.”