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Hip Hop's Inheritance: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Hip Hop Feminist Movement

Lexington Books
4/16/2011

Hip Hop's Inheritance: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Hip Hop Feminist Movement Overview

Hip Hop's Inheritance arguably offers the first book-length treatment of what hip hop culture has, literally, "inherited" from Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts movement, the Feminist Art movement, and 1980s and 1990s postmodern aesthetics. By comparing and contrasting the major motifs of the aforementioned cultural aesthetic traditions with those of hip hop culture, all the while critically exploring the origins and evolution of black popular culture from antebellum America through to "Obama's America," Hip Hop's Inheritance demonstrates that the hip hop generation is not the first generation of young black (and white) folk preoccupied with spirituality and sexuality, race and religion, entertainment and athletics, or ghetto culture and bourgeois culture. Taking interdisciplinarity and intersectionality seriously, Hip Hop's Inheritance employs the epistemologies and methodologies from a wide range of academic and organic intellectual/activist communities in its efforts to advance an intellectual history and critical theory of hip hop culture. Drawing from academic and organic intellectual/activist communities as diverse as African American Studies and women's studies, postcolonial studies and sexuality studies, history and philosophy, and politics and economics, and sociology and ethnomusicology, Hip Hop's Inheritance calls into question one-dimensional and monodisciplinary interpretations, or, rather, misinterpretations of a multidimensional and multivalent form of popular culture that has increasingly come to include cultural criticism, social commentary, and political analysis.


Hip Hop's Inheritance: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Hip Hop Feminist Movement Table Of Content

Preface and Acknowledgments: Of the Black Souls Who Sang Neo-Sorrow Songs at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century ix

1 "It's Bigger Than Hip Hop!": Toward a Critical Theory of Hip Hop Culture and Contemporary Society 1

2 "Civil Rights by Copyright" (Da ReMix!): From the Harlem Renaissance to the Hip Hop Generation 49

3 "Say It Loud!-I'm Black and I'm Proud!": From the Black Arts Movement and Blaxploitation Films to the Conscious and Commercial Rap of the Hip Hop Generation 83

4 "The Personal Is Political!" (Da Hip Hop Feminist ReMix): From the Black Women's Liberation and Feminist Art Movements to the Hip Hop Feminist Movement 129

5 Is Hip Hop Dead? or, At the Very Least, Dying?: On the Pitfalls of Postmodernism, the Riddles of Contemporary Rap Music, and the Continuing Conundrums of Hip Hop Culture 189

Bibliography 221

Index 263

About the Author 283


Hip Hop's Inheritance: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Hip Hop Feminist Movement Editorial Reviews

CHOICE

Rabaka (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder) offers a sweeping historical assessment of cultural ideologies connecting hip-hop to artistic innovations of the Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts movements. He mobilizes cultural theorists — Baraka, Foucault, DuBois, Jameson, Said, Fanon, Hurston — to describe the evolution of African American intellectual and cultural history via 'radical humanism, and democratic socialism.' Sprawling overviews of Africana critical theory, feminist theory, and queer theory imagine 'anti-racist, anti-capitalist, anti-colonialist, and sexual orientation-sensitive critical theory of contemporary society.' The author provides interesting, if diffuse, discussion of gay literary voices in the Harlem Renaissance in relation to the contemporary homo-hop movement; Black Arts Movement members' perception of the aesthetic radicalism of the Harlem Renaissance'; and the 'black aesthetic' sensibility that ''authentic' black art was always historically grounded, politically engaged, socially uplifting, and consciousness-raising.' In exploring the relationships between the black women's liberation, feminist art, and hip-hop feminist movements, Rabaka mines work by Patricia Collins. In a final chapter, he considers postmodernist approaches to popular culture while asserting that 'rap music re-Africanizes and reanimates African American music, all the while continuing the African Americanization of mainstream American music and popular culture....' Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students.

SoulTrain.com

You remember when you fell in love with hip-hop. Now, be reminded why.

Choice

Rabaka (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder) offers a sweeping historical assessment of cultural ideologies connecting hip-hop to artistic innovations of the Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts movements. He mobilizes cultural theorists — Baraka, Foucault, DuBois, Jameson, Said, Fanon, Hurston — to describe the evolution of African American intellectual and cultural history via 'radical humanism, and democratic socialism.' Sprawling overviews of Africana critical theory, feminist theory, and queer theory imagine 'anti-racist, anti-capitalist, anti-colonialist, and sexual orientation-sensitive critical theory of contemporary society.' The author provides interesting, if diffuse, discussion of gay literary voices in the Harlem Renaissance in relation to the contemporary homo-hop movement; Black Arts Movement members' perception of the aesthetic radicalism of the Harlem Renaissance'; and the 'black aesthetic' sensibility that ''authentic' black art was always historically grounded, politically engaged, socially uplifting, and consciousness-raising.' In exploring the relationships between the black women's liberation, feminist art, and hip-hop feminist movements, Rabaka mines work by Patricia Collins. In a final chapter, he considers postmodernist approaches to popular culture while asserting that 'rap music re-Africanizes and reanimates African American music, all the while continuing the African Americanization of mainstream American music and popular culture....' Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students.

Jeffrey Ogbar

Reiland Rabaka demonstrates, with great agility, that hip-hop has wide-reaching artistic and intellectual roots in the history of African American cultural production. This book is an essential addition to an expanding corpus of rich scholarship on hip-hop. It is a welcome contribution with fresh perspectives on the dynamics of gender, class and race in the context of hip-hop-beyond beats and rhymes.

Bakari Kitwana

Hip-Hop's Inheritance is an extraordinary journey through the last decade of hip-hop criticism that situates the contemporary hip-hop moment into the historical continuum of black political, cultural and gender struggles in the US. With unflinching compassion, piercing intellect and unwavering scholarship,Reiland Rabaka advances a long overdue critical theory of hip-hop culture.


Readers' Reviews