HipHop’s Origins as Organic Decolonization

Decolonization

by Damon Sajnani

Scholars routinely recognize HipHop’s political potential but this relation is commonly construed as incidental rather than definitive. Others have gestured to the colonization of HipHop in reference to the way minstrel stereotypes have replaced Afrocentric consciousness as the dominant theme in major label U.S. rap recordings post-1992. However, this leaves the antecedent relation of HipHop to colonization merely implied. This brief article outlines the more fundamental connection between HipHop culture and politics, specifically the politics of decolonization. HipHop culture, at its origins, is an organic decolonization of local urban space by internally colonized people in post-industrial 1970s New York.

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