Fear of A Hip-hop Planet
America's New DilemmaBook - 00A9}2013
This is a chronological account of development of rap music going back to the era of slavery. It depicts another side of the "culture wars" debate that shifts away from the "art" or "poison" angle back towards a conversation about the conditions that produced the music. It also shows the deep interconnection between how urban youth are represented in the media and urban policies like the war on drugs, and examines how the geographic split within the black community masks a second split between two disparate cultures both claiming to be black. Every era of the black experience has produced an art form. The first great migration of blacks to urban centers took place in the early 20th century. It produced the blues. Another movement took place between 1970 and 2000, during which time seven million blacks relocated from the suburbs to the inner city. This last migration produced hip-hop music: an art form to express the shared experience of the black majority that has been left behind. Is Gangsta Rap just black noise? Or does it play the same role for urban youth that CNN plays in mainstream America? This set of essays tells us how Gangsta Rap is a creative "report" about an urban crisis, our new American dilemma, and why we need to listen. Increasingly, police, politicians, and late-night talk show hosts portray today's inner cities as violent, crime-ridden war zones. The same moral panic that once focused on blacks in general has now been refocused on urban spaces and the black men who live there, especially those wearing saggy pants and hoodies. The media always spotlights the crime and violence, but rarely gives airtime to the conditions that produced these problems. The dominant narrative holds that the cause of the violence is the pathology of ghetto culture. Hip-hop music is at the center of this conversation. When 16-year-old Chicago youth Derrion Albert was brutally killed by gang members, many blamed rap music. Thus hip-hop music has been demonized not merely as black noise but as a root cause of crime and violence. This book explores and demystifies the politics in which the gulf between the inner city and suburbia have come to signify not only a socio-economic dividing line, but a new socio-cultural divide as well.
Publisher: Santa Barbara : Praeger, ©2013
Branch Call Number: 305.896 JONES
Characteristics: vi, 297 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm