‘Global Hip-Hop and the African Diaspora’ is mainly about hip-hop and its meaning as ‘connection between African and African diaspora’ from a social perspective.
Hip-hop is a part of black American culture which can be combined with respective issues and characteristics. This means that hip-hop can be developed and repositioned by the African diasporas based on their own environment and that it critiques social issues or problems.
Eminem’s case can be an example of hip-hop’s traits, based on social criticism and expression of suppressed feelings of African-Americans. Eminem is a famous American rapper. However he has had a difficulty in surviving in the hip-hop field because of these traits of hip-hop. Criticisms can be brought up by African and African Diasporas with a regard to the fact that Caucasians cannot understand and experience their problems based on the fact that ‘marginalization’ of African and African Diaspora is the source of hip-hop to some degree.
In addition, there is another example of a hip-hop group, named ‘Public Enemy’ in ‘political’ and ‘conscious’ rap era. This group’s music is notable for quoting speeches of leaders in the African-American civil rights movements such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X. They speak for African-Americans by making music that contains social criticism such as ‘ Fight the power’ and ‘Revolutionary generation’.
The most interesting thing in this text was that the author used the word ‘glocal’(Osumare,266). ‘Glocal’ means the relationship between local and global. I thought that the use of this term was really brilliant. The author explains a general definition of ‘glocal’ and applies this term to the hip-hop culture by analogy. The author compares ‘local’ to ‘hip-hop, the African Diaspora in different local communities’ and ’global’ to the shared value.
Then, the text is focused on the concept of ‘collective Marginalities’(Osumare,268). The author gives this concept by asking question, that how people of other nations and different language areas other than the United States can interpret and reinvent African-American and Latino hip-hop culture. In this point, the political and social function of hip-hop is mentioned and it can be interpreted that these are resulted from a common thing, ‘marginality’. There are four connective marginalities which bind the hip-hop generation: culture,class,historical oppression and youth. To explain this, author add a diagram, which shows the connection between these factors and hip-hop culture.
The author used several examples of the African Diasporas, corresponding to these connective marginalities. The author focuses on ‘African Diasporas’ by using quotation.‘People can be divided into at least five distinct African-influenced cultures’(Osumare,272).After that, two kinds of hip-hop culture in different diasporas are enumerated, giving several examples of their respective backgrounds or circumstances and artists: Cuban Hip-hop, Brazilian Hip-Hop.
I think it has important meanings with a regard to adaptation for indigenous purpose. African and African diasporas, who are sharing common roots and values, promote their hip-hop culture based on their circumstances and political issues. It is different from the typical perspective of american hip-hop music. Hip-hop would be considered as the product of materialism and commodification from the typical viewpoint. However, hip-hop is a genre, which is linked closely with socio-historical problems.
To me, thoughtful perspective toward hip-hop culture was really impressive because I thought that hip-hop is just an genre of american popular music. In my opinion, hip-hop is a genre that is the medium of music which expresses social consciousness and critical sprit. Also, hip-hop has infinitive possibilities that various things can be integrated and combined.
Osumare, Halifu. Global Hip-Hop and the African Diapora. Ed. Harry J. Elam and Kennell Jackson. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, n.d. Print.
-Do you know any kinds of hip-hop culture, commingling with other countries’ issues ?
-Would it have been possible for hip-hop being exited as global culture, if there were no connective Marginalities of the hip-hop culture?