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Question:

Discuss how hiphop was able to transcend borders and serve as a vehicle to discuss political issues beyond America.

 

Answer:

Hip Hop is more than music, it is a culture, which goes beyond the border to serve as a vehicle to discuss various political and social issues (Robertson et al.). Hip Hop started to become more popular to the world during late 1970. Following that Hip Hop started to create new trends for the way people spoke, dressed, and think. At that time, the protest songs also inspire the civil-rights activists. This essay involves the detail analysis of Hip Hop including its global influence. In 2008, Barack Obama during his U.S. Presidential campaigning, Brushes his shoulder off in an ode to Jay-Z’s ‘Dirt Off Yours Shoulder.’ Barack reflect the inter-relation of politics and Hip Hop culture.

Samy Alim, Awad Ibrahim, and Alastair Pennycook reframed the global pop-culture in the book Global linguistic flows. In this book, they highlighted on the Globalization of Hip Hop culture based on locality and specific language group, focusing on a highly energetic Hip Hop-the CIPHA.

At the very beginning, the authors had introduced cipha as "an organic, highly charged, fluid circular arrangement of rhymers wherein participants exchange verses (Zebrowski et al.)”. Cipha earned its reputation through the formation of social organization and interactivity. Rappers of Cipha formed their Hip Hop community that enables them to build off one another’s contributions. The collection of the book is divided into two parts: Disc1 and Disk 2. The Disc 1 described the Globalization of Hip Hop culture based on diversified culture and language across the world. In this section, many people have challenged about the American origin of Hip Hop. The Disk 2 highlighted on the power of the word, which includes Hip Hop poetics, global political language.

According to Mitchell and Pennycook, Hip Hop is a traditional part of Aboriginal cultural. The book also indicated the influence of Hip Hop not only in American black/white race relation but also in other areas of the globe. Newspaper column, message board postings have mentioned that in Tanzania, the youth uses street Swahili and African-American English to be part of Global Hip Hop Nation.

Though the book reflected salient features of Hip Hop and how it goes beyond the boundary of nations, it appeared to be somewhat unclear about the division between Disk 1 and Disk 2. The Hip-hoppers across the globe use language to their community and locality.  Finally, it can be concluded that this book is of great use to the scholars interested in the globalization of pop-culture.

 

References:

Robertson, Diarra Osei. "Cash Rules Everything around Me: Appropriation, Commodification, and the Politics of Contemporary Protest Music and Hip Hop." Soul Thieves. Palgrave Macmillan US, 2014. 31-49.

Zebrowski, Matthew G. "H. Samy Alim, Awad Ibrahim, & Alastair Pennycook, Global linguistic flows: Hip Hop cultures, youth identities, and the politics of language. New York: Routledge, 2009. Pp. 260. Pb. $43.95."Language in Society 39.03 (2010): 420-423.

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