We’re still figuring our feet in the world of Hip-hop. Ice-T’s The Art of Rap gives us a glimpse of the multifaceted role of the emcee, but this week’s readings help expand the roots and reach of the culture. From our textbook, That’s the Joint!, we have Nelson George’s “Hip-Hop’s Founding Fathers Speak the Truth” (Chapter 4; pp. 43-55), which is a three-way interview with Afrika Bambaataa, Kool DJ Herc, and Grand Master Flash. Then there’s Greg Tate’s “Hip-hop Turns 30: Whatcha Celebratin’ For?” (Chapter 6; pp. 63-74).
In addition, Tricia Rose‘s classic text Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (1994) is a crash course in Hip-hop’s origins and the scope of its influence. Russel A Potter’s Spectacular Vernaculars: Hip-Hop and the Politics of Postmodernism (1995) pushes the vision further. The chapters we’re reading from each provide a wider introduction to the cultural implications of beats, rhythms, and rhymes.
Here’s MC Lyte’s “I Cram to Understand U” from 1988:
As ever, post your thoughts on the readings below.
The readings for next week (September 9th), are up on Blackboard. I was late getting them to you, and I figured we could all use an extra week to get into this stuff, so I switched them for the movie. There are two book chapters: one by Tricia Rose and one by Russell Potter. We will be discussing them in depth next week, so get to it.