Build: The Power of Hip Hop Diplomacy in a Divided World by Mark KatzSince 2001, the U.S. Department of State has been sending hip hop artists abroad to perform and teach as goodwill ambassadors. There are good reasons for this: hip hop is known and loved across the globe, acknowledged and appreciated as a product of American culture. Hip hop has from its beginning been a means of creating community through artistic collaboration, fostering what hip hop artists call building. A timely study of U.S. diplomacy, Build: The Power of Hip Hop Diplomacy in a Divided World reveals the power of art to bridge cultural divides, facilitate understanding, and express and heal trauma. Yet power is never single-edged, and the story of hip hop diplomacy is deeply fraught. Drawing from nearly 150 interviews with hip hop artists, diplomats, and others in more than 30 countries, Build explores the inescapable tensions and ambiguities in the relationship between art and the state, revealing the ethical complexities that lurk behind what might seem mere goodwill tours. Author Mark Katz makes the case that hip hop, at its best, can promote positive, productive international relations between people and nations. A U.S.-born art form that has become a voice of struggle and celebration worldwide, hip hop has the power to build global community when it is so desperately needed. Cover image: Sylvester Shonhiwa, aka Bboy Sly, Harare, Zimbabwe, February 2015. Photograph by Paul Rockower.
Publication Date: 2019-11-04
Collective Participation and Audience Engagement in Rap Music by David DialloWhy do rap MCs present their studio recorded lyrics as “live and direct”? Why do they so insistently define abilities or actions, theirs or someone else's, against a pre-existing signifier? This book examines the compositional practice of rap lyricists and offers compelling answers to these questions. Through a 40 year-span analysis of the music, it argues that whether through the privileging of chanted call-and-response phrases or through rhetorical strategies meant to assist in getting one's listening audience open, the focus of the first rap MCs on community building and successful performer-audience cooperation has remained prevalent on rap records with lyrics and production techniques encouraging the listener to become physically and emotionally involved in recorded performances. Relating rap's rhetorical strategy of posing inferences through intertextuality to early call-and-response routines and crowd-controlling techniques, this study emphasizes how the dynamic and collective elements from the stage performances and battles of the formative years of rap have remained relevant in the creative process behind this music. It contends that the customary use of identifiable references and similes by rap lyricists works as a fluid interchange designed to keep the listener involved in the performance. Like call-and-response in live performances, it involves a dynamic form of communication and places MCs in a position where they activate the shared knowledge of their audience, making sure that they “know what they mean,” thus transforming their mediated lyrics into a collective and engaging performance.
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: Aug 28, 2019
Encyclopedia of the Black Arts Movement by Verner D. Mitchell (Editor), Cynthia Davis (Editor)The Black Arts Movement (BAM) encompassed a group of artists, musicians, novelists, and playwrights whose work combined innovative approaches to literature, film, music, visual arts, and theatre. With a heightened consciousness of black agency and autonomy—along with the radical politics of the civil rights movement, the Black Muslims, and the Black Panthers—these figures represented a collective effort to defy the status quo of American life and culture. Between the late 1950s and the end of the 1970s, the movement produced some of America’s most original and controversial artists and intellectuals.
In Encyclopedia of the Blacks Arts Movement, Verner D. Mitchell and Cynthia Davis have collected essays on the key figures of the movement, including Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Larry Neal, Sun Ra, Sonia Sanchez, Ntozake Shange, and Archie Shepp. Additional entries focus on Black Theatre magazine, the Negro Ensemble Company, lesser known individuals—including Kathleen Collins, Tom Dent, Bill Gunn, June Jordan, and Barbara Ann Teer—and groups, such as AfriCOBRA and the New York Umbra Poetry Workshop.
The Black Arts Movement represented the most prolific expression of African American literature since the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. Featuring essays by contemporary scholars and rare photographs of BAM artists, Encyclopedia of the Blacks Arts Movement is an essential reference for students and scholars of twentieth-century American literature and African American cultural studies.
Publication Date: May 15, 2019
The Transformation of Black Music by Samuel A. Floyd; Melanie Zeck; Guthrie P. RamseyPowerful and embracive, The Transformation of Black Music explores the full spectrum of black musics over the past thousand years as Africans and their descendants have traveled around the globe making celebrated music both in their homelands and throughout the Diaspora. Authors Samuel A.Floyd, Melanie Zeck, and Guthrie Ramsey brilliantly discuss how the music has blossomed, permeated present traditions, and created new practices. As a companion to the ground-breaking The Power of Black Music, this text brilliantly situates emerging, morphing, and influential black musics in abroader framework of cultural, political, and social histories.Grappling with subjects frequently omitted from traditional musical texts, The Transformation of Black Music is guided by more than just the ideals of inclusivity and representation. This work covers overlooked topics that include classical musicians of African descent, and builds upon thecontributions of esteemed predecessors in the field of black music study. Providing a sweeping list of figures rarely included in conventional music history and theory textbooks, the text elucidates the findings of ethnomusicologists, cultural historians, Americanists, Africanists, andanthropologists, and weaves these accounts into a powerful and informative narrative. Taking its readers on a journey - one that has never been attempted in a single volume alone - this book reflects the musical phenomena generated by forced African migration and collective memory, and considers thekinds of powerful stories that these musics were meant to tell.Filling in critical musical and historical gaps previously ignored, authors Floyd, Zeck, and Ramsey infuse an engaging musical dialogue with a deeper understanding of the interrelationships between black musical genres and mainstream music. The Transformation of Black Music will solidify not onlythe inestimable value of black musics, but also the importance and relevance of black music research to all musical endeavors.
Publication Date: 2017-03-28
Hip-Hop Authenticity and the London Scene by Laura SpeersThis 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.?
Publication Date: 2017-02-17
Dead Precedents by Roy ChristopherIn Dead Precedents, Roy Christopher traces the story of how hip-hop invented the twenty-first century. Emerging alongside cyberpunk in the 1980s, the hallmarks of hip-hop - allusion, self-reference, the use of new technologies, sampling, the cutting and splicing of language and sound - would come to define the culture of the new millennium. Taking in the groundbreaking work of DJs and MCs, alongside wri