Posts tagged hip hop

Talking about Polish politics. Thought I’d toss out some Polish hip hop. This is “O Tym Co Dookola” by RPK DDK, featuring Hipotonia.

The mixture of scholarly thought and hip-hop styles may sound like more of a collision than a blend, but the links between the two are very real. Hip-hop and academia are both deeply concerned with the generational battle, with the back-and-forth between the old guard and the avant-garde. Academia speaks to a community using its own specific vocabulary and voice, developing its own jargon, as does hip-hop, and both love the reflexivity of discussing their own discussions. Both cultures piece together their own original efforts with visible and audible inspiration from their predecessors and contemporaries. Academics quote. Rappers sample. Both collaborate.
Check out my piece in the LA Review of Books this morning talking about Arab diaspora rappers like Omar Offendum and The Narcicyst and the academic elements of the work they do. (via thepoliticalnotebook)

adam-wola:

“Shock,” Ana Tijoux’s tribute to Chile’s burgeoning student protest movement. See also the video for “Sacar la Voz.”

I was actually going to use this in class today while we discussed Chile’s unique binominal electoral system.

The unique electoral system—which uses two-seat districts with an open-list PR formula—is a legacy of the Pinochet era. It was consciously designed to ensure that conservatives (about 1/3 of the electorate) could ensure nearly 50% of the seats.

Two decades after the transition to democracy, many Chileans (particularly younger ones with little or no memory of the Pinochet dictatorship) are demanding reforms to the Pinochet-imposed institutional framework.

BTW, you should check out Ana Tijoux’s autobiographical “1977”.

More Arab Spring hip hop!

From thepoliticalnotebook:

The Revolution Continues. Mubarak may be gone, but for Egyptians who fought for actual change, the revolution is nowhere near done. With the country having fallen into the control of Field Marshal Tantawi and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, much of the tactics and policies of the Mubarak era have seen no improvement and Egyptians remain denied their freedoms. Here are a selection of revolutionary songs made since Mubarak’s ouster that speak to the theme of a fight not yet fully won.

This is genuinely one of my favorite songs of all time, revolutionary or no. Essam’s lyrics don’t mention the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, but they promote a revolutionary spirit and a hearty dose of Egyptian popular nationalism that clearly implies that the Egyptian activists remain up for the important fight. Essam has proven himself a genuine talent, not just an authentic revolutionary voice, over the past year. Check out his album Manshorat, which is available for free download and is well worth a close listen. (“When you say the word “freedom,” you must raise up your hand”)

  • Arabian Knightz (ft. Isam Bachiri and Shadia Mansour): Sisters

The Arabian Knightz are probably Egypt’s most popular rap crew, made up of Rush, E Money and Sphinx. They’ve been around since 2006, making them early voices on the budding and still young Egyptian rap scene. They rap in a mix of both Arabic and English, and gained some international recognition for their “Rebel” song, released during Egypt’s eighteen day uprising against Mubarak. “Sisters” is a tribute to the female activists in Egypt, released following the infamous instance of the female activist who was chased down, stripped and beaten by police on the street. (“But you are the star to the crescent/The heart and the essence of what we are”)

Another Egyptian rapper of growing repute, hailing from Mansoura. MC Amin pulls no punches on this song, which is fairly in-your-face and defiantly vulgar in the face of corrupt power. He very clearly attacks SCAF and the leader Field Marshal Tantawi. (“We said no to the Field Marshal, and said yes to change/ With only one demand from Tahrir Square”)

The Narcicyst isn’t Egyptian. He’s Iraqi in origin, living in Canada and rapping as part of a growing population of Arab diaspora artists. “Fly Over Egypt,” is therefore a solidarity song, a celebratory song, acknowledging the continued fight. It isn’t necessarily a songjust for Egypt; it’s messages apply to an entire region fighting for change. (“More Power to the People/Point out your brothers evils/Give your sister a hand, although she doesn’t need you…”)

Revolution Records is Egypt’s first underground rap label, and like the Arabian Knightz, has been around since 2006. “Kazeboon,” which means liars, is a direct challenge to the rule of SCAF and Field Marshal Tantawi. (Which one of us is the prisoner now?/No one is protecting the revolution… [but] the revolution is stronger than you/You sold it to serve your interest… and sold yourselves.”)

Hip Hop and the Arab Uprisings | openDemocracy

A fascinating roundup of hip hop artists from around the “Arab Spring” countries. This is a great way to learn more about the story of the year through its interaction with pop culture—as well as a great way to learn about how pop culture (and, in some way, globalization) is reshaping modern Arab societies.

The story has embedded videos by MC Swat (Libya), Lowkey (Palestine), and Kazeboon (Egypt). There also links to many others, including more famous (in the West) figures like El Général (Tunisia).

But it’s also a reminder of a time when hip hop in America was also about “issues”—not just about money, hype, and sex. Here’s hoping for an NWA comeback tour.

Interesting. Can we learn about “post-American” international relations from Jay-Z and Kanye? Discuss.
From tballardbrown:

Watch the Throne therefore should not be judged as an album, but rather  as a move in this savvy strategy of institutionalizing hegemony in the  face of potential decline. Kanye and Jay-Z’s alliance offers a new  blueprint for managing decline in a turbulent world from which  international relations scholars and American foreign policy  practitioners alike should learn. And if political scientists don’t want  to take lessons from hip hop artists, then allow me to give the last  word to Cyhi Da Prince: “my haters got PhDs, y’all just some major  haters with some math minors.”
Jay-Z’s Hegemony in the Age of Kanye | Marc Lynch
*drops mic*

Interesting. Can we learn about “post-American” international relations from Jay-Z and Kanye? Discuss.

From tballardbrown:

Watch the Throne therefore should not be judged as an album, but rather as a move in this savvy strategy of institutionalizing hegemony in the face of potential decline. Kanye and Jay-Z’s alliance offers a new blueprint for managing decline in a turbulent world from which international relations scholars and American foreign policy practitioners alike should learn. And if political scientists don’t want to take lessons from hip hop artists, then allow me to give the last word to Cyhi Da Prince: “my haters got PhDs, y’all just some major haters with some math minors.”

Jay-Z’s Hegemony in the Age of Kanye | Marc Lynch

*drops mic*