Journal of Hip-Hop Studies Publication

October 12th, 2017 | Category: Announcements

I am happy to announce a contribution to the Journal of Hip-Hop Studies (Volume 4, Issue 1). I wrote a review of André Sirois’ book Hip-Hop DJs and the Evolution of Technology (Peter Lang, 2016).

Sirois’ book is not only a great fit for coverage in this particular journal, but it’s also one of the many pieces of the multiple puzzles I’m trying to assemble in the research for one of my own books-in-progress. Here’s an excerpt of my JHHS review:

André Sirois, a.k.a. DJ Food Stamp, the man behind the turntables on mixtapes by some of my favorite emcees, including Sean Price, Planet Asia, Common, M.F. Doom, and Atmosphere, grasps that tonal history [of turntablism]. In his book Hip-Hop DJs and the Evolution of Technology: Cultural Exchange, Innovation, and Democratization, Sirois argues that in its complexity, hip-hop culture is itself a new media culture. Current so-called ‘new media’ can be traced back from smartphones and the internet to landlines and the telegraph. Following hip-hop DJs’ hacking of recording technology and playback from Grandmaster Flash’s mixer toggle-switch and Grand Wizard Theodore’s manual scratch to digital sampling and Serato, Sirois historicizes the technical evolution and cultural practices of Hip Hop DJs as new media. Emphasizing the network mentality present from the beginning of Hip Hop, he employs an open source metaphor to characterize the culture. ‘From my perspective,’ Sirois writes, ‘what these South Bronx DJs started was the foundation of the new media ideology present in popular culture today: sample, mix, burn, share, and repeat’ (XVII).

You can read the full issue and my review on their site. You can also download it [.pdf], just my review [.pdf], and all previous issues as the JHHS is a free-to-access, electronic journal.

Many thanks to the homie Travis Harris for dropping this opportunity on me.

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