It is where you’re from: Re-negotiating the role of place in Hip Hop through documentary

Fox, Neil (2016) It is where you’re from: Re-negotiating the role of place in Hip Hop through documentary. In: International Hip Hop Studies Conference, 23-25 June, 2016, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

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Abstract / Summary

The use of place in Hip Hop is often symbolic. Specific spaces and places are used to signify not just geographical locations but also a series of meanings and possibilities associated with them. References to Brooklyn, Staten Island, Compton and South Central invite listeners to imagine these areas and to engage with wider imaginings and shared beliefs about them. Their mention in lyrics call forth ideas, identities, associations and discourses attached to those spaces and can both challenge and reinforce popular understandings of them.
This paper discusses how music documentaries re-negotiate and deconstruct the role of place in Hip Hop, often by advancing understandings of the sociological and political factors that have contributed to the creation of place as symbolic in Hip Hop. Some documentaries do this directly, discussing the role of government policy in the construction and production of inner city spaces. Others use visual and cinematic tools to map the areas and inhabitants of spaces from which artists emerge, positioning the artist’s use of place in their music within the cartography of their spatial experiences.
Documentaries discussed in the paper include Style Wars (dir. Silver, 1983), Time Is Illmatic (dir. One9, 2014) and Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (dir. Gondry, 2005).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Film & TV
Music
Music > Popular Music
Courses by Department: The School of Film & Television > Film
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Neil Fox
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2017 10:40
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2017 14:13
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/1789

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