Hip Hop at Europe's Edge
Music, Agency, and Social Change
Published by: Indiana University Press
324 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 1 b&w illus, 1 table
- Published: March 2017
- Published: March 2017
- Published: March 2017
Responding to the development of a lively hip hop culture in Central and Eastern European countries, this interdisciplinary study demonstrates how a universal model of hip hop serves as a contextually situated platform of cultural exchange and becomes locally inflected. After the Soviet Union fell, hip hop became popular in urban environments in the region, but it has often been stigmatized as inauthentic, due to an apparent lack of connection to African American historical roots and black identity. Originally strongly influenced by aesthetics from the US, hip hop in Central and Eastern Europe has gradually developed unique, local trajectories, a number of which are showcased in this volume. On the one hand, hip hop functions as a marker of Western cosmopolitanism and democratic ideology, but as the contributors show, it is also a malleable genre that has been infused with so much local identity that it has lost most of its previous associations with "the West" in the experiences of local musicians, audiences, and producers. Contextualizing hip hop through the prism of local experiences and regional musical expressions, these valuable case studies reveal the broad spectrum of its impact on popular culture and youth identity in the post-Soviet world.
AcknowledgmentsIntroduction / Adriana Helbig and Milosz Miszczynski
Part 1: Hip Hop, Postsocialism, and Democracy1. Rapping into Power: The Use of Hip Hop in Albanian Politics / Gentian Elezi and Elona Toska2. Nothing Left to Lose: Hip Hop in Bosnia-Herzegovina / Jasmin Mujanović3. Russian Rap in the Era of Vladimir Putin / Philip Ewell4. Rap Music as a Cultural Mediator in Post-Conflict Yugoslavia / Alexandra Baladina
Part 2: Hip Hop and Emerging Market Economies5. Diesel Power: Serbian Hip Hop from the Pleasure of the Privileged to Mass Youth Culture / Goran Musić and Predrag Vukčević6. "The Underground is for Beggars": Slovak Rap at the Center of National Popular Culture / Peter Barrer7. Music, Technology, and Shifts in Popular Culture: Making Hip Hop in e-Estonia / Triin Vallaste8. Wearing Nikes for a Reason: A Critical Analysis of Brand Usage in Polish Rap / Milosz Miszczynski and Przemyslaw Tomaszewski
Part 3: Hip Hop on the Margins9. Cosmopolitan Inscriptions? Mimicry, Rap, and Rurbanity in Post-socialist Albania / Nicholas Tochka 10. Violence as Existential Punctuation: Russian Hip Hop in the Age of Late Capitalism / Alexandre Gontchar11. Unmasking Expressions in Turkish Rap/Hip Hop Culture: Contestation and Construction of Alternatıve Identities Through Localizatıon in Arabesk Music / Nuran Erol Işik and Murat Can Basaran12. Hip Hop as a Means of Flight from 'Gypsy Ghetto' in Eastern Europe / Michal Ruzicka, Alena Kajanova, Veronika Zvánovcová, and Tomas Mrhalek13. Rapping the Changes in North-East Siberia: Hip Hop, Urbanization, and Sakha Ethnicity / Aimar Ventsel and Eleanor Peers
Part 4: Hip Hop and Global Circulations of Blackness14. La haine et les autres crimes: Ghettocentric Imagery in Serbian Hip Hop Videos / Irena Šentevska 15. The Power of the Words: Discourses of Authenticity in Czech Rap Music / Anna Oravcová16. "Keep it 360": (Re)envisioning The Cultural and Racial Roots of Hip Hop through DJ Rhetoric and Ethnography / Todd CraigList of ContributorsIndex
All in all, with its interdisciplinary approaches, the volume makes an important step in opening up a hitherto overlooked region for the study of hip hop. It is therefore a highly welcome addition to the growing number of publications making research of hip hop in Europe available in English.~Music and Letters
The authors of this edited volume do not romanticize and heroize the genre by automatically equating it with political opposition, a fate often suffered by rock before. Instead, the book has to be given much credit for presenting a very nuanced picture of hip hop's entanglement—or non-entanglement, for that matter—with politics in this wide stretch of the world, past and present.~The Russian Review
The reviewed book is an important contribution to existing scholarship on hip-hop culture. It enhances the history of hip-hop with knowledge of how the idioms of this genre have been adopted and reincarnated through a prism of east European culture. The value of the book should also be weighed in the context of colonial/post-colonial and communist/post-communist studies. The authors show how hip-hop has served social and political needs during the challenging period of transition from communism to capitalism, and how it continues to help newly-independent nation-states define their new status in Europe.
This is a real treasure trove, full of fascinating stories. It acts as a fine example of academic inquiry that creatively probes hip-hop's practices, providing context for the form's usage across the Eastern Bloc.
The volume represents a valuable and timely contribution to the study of popular culture in central and eastern Europe. Hip Hop at Europe's Edge will not only appeal to readers interested in contemporary popular culture in central and eastern Europe, but also inspire future research on post-socialism's unique local adaptations of global cultural trends.~The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review
Overall, Hip Hop at Europe's Edge is a notable addition to hip-hop and music scholarship. It is increasingly timely, given current geopolitical affairs.~Notes