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Where You're Atby Patrick Neate
2004 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism
Synopses & Reviews
Spurred by his own deep love of the music and its central role in his life, but troubled by the current state of mainstream hip-hop culture, Patrick Neate sets off to discover if the music and culture that mean so much to him have retained true cultural vitality and significance anywhere in the world. Covering five continents and cities as diverse as New York, Rio, Tokyo, and Johannesburg, Neate discovers hip-hop reinventing itself internationally, locally, and individually. Spirited and idealistic, yet grittily insightful, Where You're At is a global tour of a small planet, with hip-hop, in all its multifarious forms, as the main character.
"At first glance, one might not expect a British novelist to be a particularly insightful commentator on hip-hop, 'the most elemental expression of contemporary America.' But starting with a description of his first encounter with a rap record in the mid-1980s, Neate displays a sympathy and sensitivity to the musical genre many American critics would be hard-pressed to match. A trek to examine hip-hop's global influence begins with a visit to New York — and a willing acknowledgment that this city is only one facet of the complex American hip-hop scene. Neate's recognition of his own limitations increases his credibility as he drops in on the subcultures in Japan, South Africa and Brazil to see how fans are 'keeping it real.' He sees in hip-hop a powerful voice of protest against the status quo and is adamant about the need for its creators to wrest financial control of their music away from multinational media companies. His recommendation that American hip-hop artists start cultivating a deeper global political consciousness may come across as overly didactic, but it's the culmination of a consistent awareness of the ways in which non-Americans are already using the music to describe and define their lives. FYI: Neate won the Whitbread Award in 2002; his latest novel, The London Pigeon Wars, is currently out from FSG." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Neate, the author of the Whitbread-winning novel Twelve-Bar Blues (2002), is a compelling storyteller, and although he comes at his subject here as a fan, readers unfamiliar with the genre won't feel left out. A persuasive examination of the worldwide hip-hop phenomenon." Carlos Orellana, Booklist
Neate embarks on a global tour of planet Earth with hip-hop, in all its multifarious forms, as the main character.
A global tour of our small planet, with hip-hop, in all its multifarious forms, as the main character.
About the Author
Patrick Neate lives in London and Zambia. He is the author of three novels, and in 2001 he won England's Whitbread Award. He has published articles in many leading music magazines, including The Face, Mixmag, and Time Out, and an excerpt of the book will appear in Trace magazine's forthcoming anthology of hip-hop writing.
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