Jess Doll: Hip-Hop Panel
Reyhan Harmanci author of, "Academic Hip-Hop? Yes, Yes, Y'all" states that academic hip-hop is in its third decade," . . . And it has become one of the most explosive subjects to hit academia in decades" (1). During our Wednesday night discussion, panelists Alexs Pate (professor in the Department of African and African American Studies) and Milena Riviere (professor in the Department of Anthropology) shed some light on the many aspects of hip-hop, one of them being, "what is hip-hop?"
Panelist Alexs Pate stated that hip-hop is a culture and an opposition to the mainstream while Milena Riviere stated that hip-hop consists of four elements, break dance, turntables, rap, and lyricism. Alexs stressed that there is a large difference in the mainstream "rap" we hear on the radio compared to the authentic "hip-hop" of Public Enemy for example (i.e. good vs. evil).
The panelist briefly touched on one of my questions which was, "What role do the "various social movements of the 60s and 70s" play in regards to the current academic hip-hop explosion? Both panelists agreed that the more a group is repressed, the more likely it is that they will respond to social inequalities through arts and culture, specifically music where their once smothered voices could be heard.
Finally, no matter how one views hip-hop, it is clear that "hip-hop brings the people together" which indisputably benefits societies worlwide (Pate).