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This book examines social change in Africa through the lens of hip hop music and culture. Artists engage their African communities in a variety of ways that confront established social structures, using coded language and symbols to inform, question, and challenge. Through lyrical expression, dance, and graffiti, hip hop is used to challenge social inequality and to push for social change. The study looks across Africa and explores how hip hop is being used in different places, spaces, and moments to foster change. In this edited work, authors from a wide range of fields, including history, sociology, African and African American studies, and political science explore the transformative impact that hip hop has had on African youth, who have in turn emerged to push for social change on the continent. The powerful moment in which those that want change decide to consciously and collectively take a stand is rooted in an awareness that has much to do with time. Therefore, the book centers on African hip hop around the context of "it's time" for change, Ni Wakati.
In the world of hip-hop, "keeping it real" has always been a primary goal-and realness takes on special meaning as rappers mold their images for street cred and increasingly measure authenticity by ghetto-centric notions of "Who's badder?"
In this groundbreaking book, Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar celebrates hip-hop and confronts the cult of authenticity that defines its essential character--that dictates how performers walk, talk, and express themselves artistically and also influences the consumer market. "Hip-Hop Revolution" is a balanced cultural history that looks past negative stereotypes of hip-hop as a monolith of hedonistic, unthinking noise to reveal its evolving positive role within American society.
A writer who's personally encountered many of hip-hop's icons, Ogbar traces hip-hop's rise as a cultural juggernaut, focusing on how it negotiates its own sense of identity. He especially explores the lyrical world of rap as artists struggle to define what realness means in an art where class, race, and gender are central to expressions of authenticity-and how this realness is articulated in a society dominated by gendered and racialized stereotypes.
Ogbar also explores problematic black images, including minstrelsy, hip-hop's social milieu, and the artists' own historical and political awareness. Ranging across the rap spectrum from the conscious hip-hop of Mos Def to the gangsta rap of 50 Cent to the "underground" sounds of Jurassic 5 and the Roots, he tracks the ongoing quest for a unique and credible voice to show how complex, contested, and malleable these codes of authenticity are. Most important, Ogbar persuasively challenges widely held notions that hip-hop is socially dangerous-to black youths in particular-by addressing the ways in which rappers critically view the popularity of crime-focused lyrics, the antisocial messages of their peers, and the volatile politics of the word "nigga."
"Hip-Hop Revolution" deftly balances an insider's love of the culture with a scholar's detached critique, exploring popular myths about black educational attainment, civic engagement, crime, and sexuality. By cutting to the bone of a lifestyle that many outsiders find threatening, Ogbar makes hip-hop realer than it's ever been before.
In Hip Hop Ukraine, we enter a world of urban music and dance competitions, hip hop parties, and recording studio culture to explore unique sites of interracial encounters among African students, African immigrants, and local populations in eastern Ukraine. Adriana N. Helbig combines ethnographic research with music, media, and policy analysis to examine how localized forms of hip hop create social and political spaces where an interracial youth culture can speak to issues of human rights and racial equality. She maps the complex trajectories of musical influence African, Soviet, American to show how hip hop has become a site of social protest in post-socialist society and a vehicle for social change."
Rhyme's Challenge offers a concise, pithy primer to hip-hop poetics while presenting a spirited defense of rhyme in contemporary American poetry. David Caplan's stylish study examines hip-hop's central but supposedly outmoded verbal technique: rhyme. At a time when print-based poets generally dismiss formal rhyme as old-fashioned and bookish, hip-hop artists deftly deploy it as a way to capture the contemporary moment. Rhyme accommodates and colorfully chronicles the most conspicuous conditions and symbols of contemporary society: its products, technologies, and personalities. Ranging from Shakespeare and Wordsworth, to Eminem and Jay-Z, David Caplan's study demonstrates the continuing relevance of rhyme to poetry-and everyday life.
Tulisa Contostavlos is one of the most talented and high-profile recording artists working in the UK today. She has three platinum N-Dubz albums, four MOBO awards, a groundbreaking drama series, two documentaries, a MIND award and an X Factor judge's win under her belt. Not bad for a girl who's not yet twenty-five. But this is not just a tale of glittering success. Tulisa grew up on a tough London estate and left school with no qualifications as she struggled to cope with deep-seated emotional problems while caring for her mother alone. She has seen first hand what drugs, alcohol, gang culture and violent relationships can do to young people, but she has come through it all to become the confident, inspiring artist she is today. After mentoring Little Mix to the winning spot of the X Factor on her first year as judge, and releasing her debut solo album The Female Boss, Tulisa has sealed her position as the most exciting young talent in British music. In her typical up-front style, here she shares with us a staggeringly frank and honest account of her life. In her own words, this is her story.
The Hiplife in Ghana explores one international site - Ghana, West Africa - where hip-hop music and culture have morphed over two decades into the hiplife genre of world music. It investigates hiplife music not merely as an imitation and adaptation of hip-hop, but as a reinvention of Ghana's century-old highlife popular music tradition. Author Halifu Osumare traces the process by which local hiplife artists have evolved a five-phased indigenization process that has facilitated a youth-driven transformation of Ghanaian society. She also reveals how Ghana's social shifts, facilitated by hiplife, have occurred within the country's 'corporate recolonization,' serving as another example of the neoliberal free market agenda as a new form of colonialism. Hiplife artists, we discover, are complicit with these global socio-economic forces even as they create counter-narratives that push aesthetic limits and challenge the neoliberal order.
This book explores the highly-valued, and often highly-charged, ideal of authenticity in hip-hop - what it is, why it is important, and how it affects the day-to-day life of rap artists. By analyzing the practices, identities, and struggles that shape the lives of rappers in the London scene, the study exposes the strategies and tactics that hip-hop practitioners engage in to negotiate authenticity on an everyday basis. In-depth interviews and fieldwork provide insight into the nature of authenticity in global hip-hop, and the dynamics of cultural appropriation, globalization, marketization, and digitization through a combined set of ethnographic, theoretical, and cultural analysis. Despite growing attention to authenticity in popular music, this book is the first to offer a comprehensive theoretical model explaining the reflexive approaches hip-hop artists adopt to `live out' authenticity in everyday life. This model will act as a blueprint for new studies in global hip-hop and be generative in other authenticity research, and for other music genres such as punk, rock and roll, country, and blues that share similar issues surrounding contested artist authenticity.
Responding to the development of a lively hip hop culture in Central and Eastern European countries, this interdisciplinary study demonstrates how a universal model of hip hop serves as a contextually situated platform of cultural exchange and becomes locally inflected. After the Soviet Union fell, hip hop became popular in urban environments in the region, but it has often been stigmatized as inauthentic, due to an apparent lack of connection to African American historical roots and black identity. Originally strongly influenced by aesthetics from the US, hip hop in Central and Eastern Europe has gradually developed unique, local trajectories, a number of which are showcased in this volume. On the one hand, hip hop functions as a marker of Western cosmopolitanism and democratic ideology, but as the contributors show, it is also a malleable genre that has been infused with so much local identity that it has lost most of its previous associations with "the West" in the experiences of local musicians, audiences, and producers. Contextualizing hip hop through the prism of local experiences and regional musical expressions, these valuable case studies reveal the broad spectrum of its impact on popular culture and youth identity in the post-Soviet world.
A hybrid of reggae and rap, reggaeton is a music with Spanish-language lyrics and Caribbean aesthetics that has taken Latin America, the United States, and the world by storm. Superstars--including Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, and Ivy Queen--garner international attention, while aspiring performers use digital technologies to create and circulate their own tracks. "Reggaeton" brings together critical assessments of this wildly popular genre. Journalists, scholars, and artists delve into reggaeton's local roots and its transnational dissemination; they parse the genre's aesthetics, particularly in relation to those of hip-hop; and they explore the debates about race, nation, gender, and sexuality generated by the music and its associated cultural practices, from dance to fashion.
The collection opens with an in-depth exploration of the social and sonic currents that coalesced into reggaeton in Puerto Rico during the 1990s. Contributors consider reggaeton in relation to that island, Panama, Jamaica, and New York; Cuban society, Miami's hip-hop scene, and Dominican identity; and other genres including "reggae en espanol," underground, and dancehall reggae. The reggaeton artist Tego Calderon provides a powerful indictment of racism in Latin America, while the hip-hop artist Welmo Romero Joseph discusses the development of reggaeton in Puerto Rico and his refusal to embrace the upstart genre. The collection features interviews with the DJ/rapper El General and the reggae performer Renato, as well as a translation of "Chamaco's Corner," the poem that served as the introduction to Daddy Yankee's debut album. Among the volume's striking images are photographs from Miguel Luciano's series Pure Plantainum, a meditation on identity politics in the bling-bling era, and photos taken by the reggaeton videographer Kacho Lopez during the making of the documentary "Bling'd: Blood, Diamonds, and Hip-Hop."
Contributors. Geoff Baker, Tego Calderon, Carolina Caycedo, Jose Davila, Jan Fairley, Juan Flores, Gallego (Jose Raul Gonzalez), Felix Jimenez, Kacho Lopez, Miguel Luciano, Wayne Marshall, Frances Negron-Muntaner, Alfredo Nieves Moreno, Ifeoma C. K. Nwankwo, Deborah Pacini Hernandez, Raquel Z. Rivera, Welmo Romero Joseph, Christoph Twickel, Alexandra T. Vazquez
At the outset of summer in 1990, a Houston gangsta rap group called the Geto Boys was poised to debut its self-titled third album under the guidance of hip-hop guru Rick Rubin. What might have been a low-profile remix release from a little-known corner of the rap universe began to make headlines when the album's distributor refused to work with the group, citing its violent and depraved lyrics. When The Geto Boys was finally released, chain stores refused to stock it, concert promoters canceled the group's performances, and veteran rock critic Robert Christgau declared the group "sick motherfuckers." One quarter of a century later the album is considered a hardcore classic, having left an immutable influence on gangsta rap, horrorcore, and the rise of Southern hip-hop. Charting the rise of the Geto Boys from the earliest days of Houston's rap scene, Rolf Potts documents a moment in music history when hip-hop was beginning to replace rock as the transgressive sound of American youth. In creating an album that was both sonically innovative and unprecedentedly vulgar, the Geto Boys were accomplishing something that went beyond music. To paraphrase a sentiment from Don DeLillo, this group of young men from Houston's Fifth Ward ghetto had figured out the "language of being noticed" - which is, in the end, the only language America understands.
Honorable Mention, Barbara T. Christian Literary Award, Caribbean Studies Association, 2017 In the wake of the 1959 Cuban Revolution, a key state ideology developed: racism was a systemic cultural issue that ceased to exist after the Revolution, and any racism that did persist was a result of contained cases of individual prejudice perpetuated by US influence. Even after the state officially pronounced the end of racism within its borders, social inequalities tied to racism, sexism, and homophobia endured, and, during the economic liberalization of the 1990s, widespread economic disparities began to reemerge. Cuban Underground Hip Hop focuses on a group of self-described antiracist, revolutionary youth who initiated a social movement (1996-2006) to educate and fight against these inequalities through the use of arts-based political activism intended to spur debate and enact social change. Their "revolution" was manifest in altering individual and collective consciousness by critiquing nearly all aspects of social and economic life tied to colonial legacies. Using over a decade of research and interviews with those directly involved, Tanya L. Saunders traces the history of the movement from its inception and the national and international debates that it spawned to the exodus of these activists/artists from Cuba and the creative vacuum they left behind. Shedding light on identity politics, race, sexuality, and gender in Cuba and the Americas, Cuban Underground Hip Hop is a valuable case study of a social movement that is a part of Cuba's longer historical process of decolonization.
In this lively ethnography Ian Condry interprets Japan's vibrant hip-hop scene, explaining how a music and culture that originated halfway around the world is appropriated and remade in Tokyo clubs and recording studios. Illuminating different aspects of Japanese hip-hop, Condry chronicles how self-described "yellow B-Boys" express their devotion to "black culture," how they combine the figure of the samurai with American rapping techniques and gangsta imagery, and how underground artists compete with pop icons to define "real" Japanese hip-hop. He discusses how rappers manipulate the Japanese language to achieve rhyme and rhythmic flow and how Japan's female rappers struggle to find a place in a male-dominated genre. Condry pays particular attention to the messages of emcees, considering how their raps take on subjects including Japan's education system, its sex industry, teenage bullying victims turned schoolyard murderers, and even America's handling of the war on terror.Condry attended more than 120 hip-hop performances in clubs in and around Tokyo, sat in on dozens of studio recording sessions, and interviewed rappers, music company executives, music store owners, and journalists. Situating the voices of Japanese artists in the specific nightclubs where hip-hop is performed-what musicians and fans call the genba (actual site) of the scene-he draws attention to the collaborative, improvisatory character of cultural globalization. He contends that it was the pull of grassroots connections and individual performers rather than the push of big media corporations that initially energized and popularized hip-hop in Japan. Zeebra, DJ Krush, Crazy-A, Rhymester, and a host of other artists created Japanese rap, one performance at a time.
View the Table of Contentsbr>Read the Introduction.
"Both a scholarly book and a pleasurable read."
"In moving beyond the common misconception that rap is simply a secular expression, this volume offers a refreshing discussion about the tensions that exist between the sacred and profane. It foregrounds the spiritual and religious dimensions of rap music and the genre's interpolation and critique of Buddhist, Islamic, Christian, Rastafarian, and Humanist thought in an unprecedented way."--Cheryl L. Keyes, author of "Rap Music and Street Consciousness"
"Cutting through the din of confusion and controversy surrounding hip-hop, "Noise and Spirit" illuminates the spiritual struggles a the root of the music and the culture. The essays collected here brim with the energy of discovery and engagement, and leave no doubt that Tupac, KRS-One, and Queen Latifah are carrying on the tradition of Al Green, Mahalia Jackson, and the 'black unknown bards' who forged a redemptive vision in the fires of a furnace that continues to burn."--Craig Werner, author of "Higher Ground: Aretha, Stevie, Curtis and America's Quest for Redemption"
""Noise and Spirit" is a thought provoking collection of empirical works that ultimately offer even the most reluctant of scholars a great vantage point from which to build on a continuing examination into, and further discussion of, the fragile and often contentious alliance between rap and religion. This is clearly a definitive work worth reading." --"The Sociology of Religion"
Rap music is often seen as a Black secular response to pressing issues of our time. Yet, like spirituals, the blues, and gospel music, rap has deep connections toAfrican American religious traditions.
Noise and Spirit explores the diverse religious dimensions of rap stemming from Islam (including the Nation of Islam and Five Percent Nation), Rastafarianism, and Humanism, as well as Christianity. The volume examines rap's dialogue with religious traditions, from the ways in which Islamic rap music is used as a method of religious and political instruction to the uses of both the blues and Black women's rap for considering the distinction between God and the Devil.
The first section explores rap's association with more easily recognizable religious traditions and communities such as Christianity and Islam. The next presents discussions of rap and important spiritual considerations, including on the topic of death. The final unit wrestles with ways to theologize about the relationship between the sacred and the profane in rap.
Located at the intersection of sociolinguistics and Hip Hop Studies, this cutting-edge book moves around the world - spanning Africa, Asia, Australia, the Americas and the European Union - to explore Hip Hop Cultures, youth identities, the politics of language, and the simultaneous processes of globalization and localization. Focusing closely on language, these scholars of sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, (Hip Hop) cultural studies, and critical pedagogies offer linguistic insights to the growing scholarship on Hip Hop Culture, while reorienting their respective fields by paying closer attention to processes of globalization and localization. The book engages complex processes such as transnationalism, (im)migration, cultural flow, and diaspora in an effort to expand current theoretical approaches to language choice and agency, speech style and stylization, codeswitching and language mixing, crossing and sociolinguistic variation, and language use and globalization. Moving throughout the Global Hip Hop Nation, through scenes as diverse as Hong Kong's urban center, Germany's Mannheim inner-city district of Weststadt, the Brazilian favelas, the streets of Lagos and Dar es Salaam, and the hoods of the San Francisco Bay Area, this global intellectual cipha breaks new ground in the ethnographic study of language and popular culture.
The 'Hood Comes First looks at the increasingly specific emphasis
on real neighborhoods and streets in rap music and hip hop culture
as an urgent response to the cultural and geographical
ghettoization of black urban communities. Examining rap music,
along with ancillary hip hop media including radio, music videos,
rap press and the cinematic 'hood genre, Murray Forman analyzes hip
hop culture's varying articulations of the terms "ghetto,"
"inner-city," and "the 'hood," and how these spaces, both real and
imaginary, are used to define individual and collective identity.
Edited by two recognized scholars of African-American religion and culture, this reader, the first of its kind, provides the essential texts for an important and emerging field of study religion and hip hop. Until now, the discipline of religious studies lacked a consistent and coherent text that highlights the developing work at the intersections of hip hop, religion and theology. Moving beyond an institutional understanding of religion and offering a multidimensional assortment of essays, this new volume charts new ground by bringing together voices who, to this point, have been a disparate and scattered few. Comprehensively organized with the foundational and most influential works that continue to provide a base for current scholarship, "The Hip Hop and Religion Reader "frames the lively and expanding conversation on hip hop s influence on the academic study of religion."
This is the first book to discuss in detail how rap music is put together musically. Whereas a great deal of popular music scholarship dismisses music analysis as irrelevant or of limited value, the present book argues that it can be crucial to cultural theory. It is unique for bringing together perspectives from music theory, musicology, cultural studies, critical theory, and communications. It is also the first scholarly book to discuss rap music in Holland, and the rap of Cree Natives in Canada, in addition to such mainstream artists as Ice Cube.
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