I’ve been working on a new book called Hip-Hop Theory: The Blueprint to 21st Century Culture about how Hip-hop culture preconfigures many of the forms and norms of the now. I gave the following talk to my class at The University of Texas at Austin, which shows me fumbling through some of the major concepts from the book [runtime: 37:01]:
Here’s a brief overview of the book:
The many innovations of Hip-hop now undergird our Western culture. From appropriating technology and reinventing language to street art and advertising, as well as the intertextual nature of our evermore connected mass media and communication. The DJ’s innovative use of the turntable preconfigured sampling technology and made the sample a viable currency of music making and sampling itself the battleground of creative work and copyright law. To wit, technologically enabled cutting and pasting are now preeminent practices not only for musicians but also filmmakers, designers, storytellers—culture creators of all kinds. Graffiti artists’ repainting of the urban scenery with images and letters prefigured the ubiquity of street-styled advertising. This book is about is the many ways that the foundations of Hip-hop appropriation – allusions and creative language use, as well as technology and self-reference – inform the new millennium, how an understanding of Hip-hop culture is also an understanding of 21st century culture.
Thank you (and my classes) for indulging me. I’ll post more on this project as it develops.