Public defence: Flow - rap's rhythm

Master Kjell Andreas Oddekalv at the Department of Musicology will defend his dissertation What Makes the Shit Dope? The Techniques and Analysis of Rap Flows for the degree of philosophiae doctor (PhD).

Doctoral candidate Kjell Andreas Oddekalv, wall with text "det humanistiske fakultet"

Rap is a meeting between musical rhythm and speech rhythm – and the flow is an intricate rhythmic interplay between bars and lines, musical pulse and stressed syllables, and an exuberant play with timing. Why is it so dope when the rhyme lands right there? How does Chance the Rapper make a listener experience a line as if it has two different rhythms at the same time? Different listeners will experience the same rhythms differently, and Oddekalv shows how the manoeuvring of this interpretive space is part of ‘making the shit dope’.

More people than ever listen to rap music, even without being hip hop heads or even attending to or understanding the lyrics – why does this music have such a massive appeal? Oddekalv’s dissertation explores, explains, and names the different rhythmic techniques rappers use, and shows how the magic happens in the interaction between music rhythmic and speech rhythmic units – through ambiguity, the listeners’ attention and expectations fulfilled and broken.

Oddekalv is himself a performing hip hop artist in the group Sinsenfist.

The defence takes place in Forsamlingssalen, Harald Schelderups hus on 31 August, 12:15 p.m. It will also be possible to follow the proceedings via live stream on RITMO's YouTube channel.

Request a digital copy of the dissertation.

Trial lecture

Designated topic: "Rap music’s black cultural heritage: How does “pushing the limits” of dopeness relate to hip hop values of excellence and/as badness?"

Time and place: 31 August, 10:15 a.m., Harald Schjelderups hus, Forsamlingssalen. It will also be possible to follow the trial lecture via live stream.

Watch the live stream

Evaluation committee

Professor Oliver Kautny, University of Cologne (first opponent)

Professor J. Griffith Rollefson, National University of Ireland (second opponent)

Professor Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen, University of Oslo (committee administrator)

Chair of the defence

Associate Professor Peter Edwards


Professor Anne Danielsen, University of Oslo

Senior Lecturer Chris Stover, Griffith University, Queensland Conservatory

Published Aug. 10, 2022 8:53 AM - Last modified Aug. 26, 2022 10:54 AM