Laurie Taylor explores the culture of hip hop, an art form which began in the Bronx in New York in the 1970s and has since seeded itself around the world, translating with ease across cultural and ethnic boundaries. But is rapping in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne or Frankfurt or Tokyo the real thing? Academics disagree. Some maintain it is only authentic when it is by and about the experience of African Americans. Others argue that this ignores hip hop’s attraction for young people from very diverse socio-cultural backgrounds and want to celebrate an instance of black culture becoming global culture. Laurie meets two students of what has been called ‘an aesthetic of the insult’. Andy Bennett is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Surrey and has worked with Turkish-Moroccan rappers in Germany and a home-grown variety in Newcastle. Kodwo Eshun is a Cultural critic and author of ‘More Brilliant than the Sun’ who believes that unlike punk, hip hop not only has a future but is the future of music.
VIOLENCE AND THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
Like music hall and rock and roll before it, hip hop is currently at the centre of a moral panic – the accusation being that it glorifies and promotes gun culture. Media in all its forms has frequently been accused of damaging the nation’s youth. Think Clockwork Orange, Crash or even Tom and Jerry. Martin Barker, Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, is a sceptic and critic of the media violence debate. He talks with LaurieTaylor about what can and cannot be proven about the effects on audiences of cultural expressions of violence.
Popular Music And Youth Culture: Music, Identity and Place
(Palgrave ISBN: 0333732294)
Editor of After Sub-Culture, to be published later this year
More Brilliant Than The Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction (Quartet Books ISBN: 0704380250)
Ill Effects, The Media Violence Debate (Communication and Society) Edited by Martin Barker & Julian Petley (Routledge, an imprint of Taylor & Francis Books Ltd ISBN: 0415146739)
The “Crash” Controversy: Censorship, Campaigns and film Reception by Martin Barker, Jane Arthurs, Ramaswani Harindranath (Wallflower Press ISBN: 1903364159)
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