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Seminar paper from the year 2012 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 1,3, University of Koblenz-Landau (Anglistik), course: Varieties of English, language: English, abstract: African American English in general is used to describe a wide range of language varieties spoken mostly by the black population in the United States. During the past decades however multiple names and definitions have been established including Black English (BE), Ebonics, Black Vernacular English (BVE), and African American Vernacular English (AAVE). The term 'Negro Non-standard English' used until the late 1960s has been abolished by now due to the fact that it insinuates the presence of a superior 'White Standard English' In the preface of her book African American English: A Linguistic Introduction Lisa GREEN points out that there has been a substantial amount of linguistic research on AAE, oftentimes however neglecting a closer look at the structural patterns and features. This is where the focus of the paper presented shall be on. After some developmental and socio-historical background information concerning AAE, phonological, morphological, and grammatical attributes will be examined and subsequently illustrated by an exemplary analysis of three different rap songs. The focal point here lies in the lyrical/ textual presentation of AAE in rap music and not in the actual vocal performance. The aim of this paper and the entailed analyses is to ascertain whether AAE consequently aims for persistent, stable patterns on some or even all linguistic levels or if certain features occur in a more elective, non-obligatory way. The rap songs chosen for the analyses offer a creditable alternative to hard to find authentic text material and display sufficient characteristic of AAE. A complete version of each rap text is attached in the appendix of this work. The textual extend of this paper is substantiated in the amount of examples given to illustrate features of AAE.