Hip-hop Urbanism Old and New

Authors


Abstract

The sustained connection between hip-hop and urban identity stems in part from the origins of hip-hop culture in post-industrial American cities during the late twentieth century. But hip-hop urbanism cannot be reduced to nostalgia or respect for previous traditions, as changing spatial demographics and the evolution of hip-hop production and consumption force a disaggregation and reconsideration of ‘urban music’. Contemporary hip-hop research in the United States must focus not only on the black and Latino communities responsible for hip-hop's genesis, but on modern-day race- and class-based power dynamics, as well as on communities and social networks that are not typically considered urban. Ethnographers are especially well-positioned to lead this field, thanks to methodological and theoretical tools that allow them to focus on smaller and emergent musical communities in flux.

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