Synopses & Reviews
"Hip Hop Underground, the first book-length ethnographic study of hip hop, takes the reader inside the world of hip hop culture in a way that no other book really has. Harrison clearly elucidates the relationship between hip hop culture, demographic change and ethnic/racial identities/relations, offering along the way one of the most masterful syntheses of existing hip hop literatures. Rigorous, yet highly engaging and enjoyable, it fills a significant gap in the literature."
—Andy Bennett, Professor in Cultural Sociology, Griffith University, Australia, and author of Popular Music and Youth Culture: Music, Identity and Place
Hip Hop Underground is a vivid ethnography of the author's observations and experiences in the multiracial world of the San Francisco underground hip hop scene. While Anthony Kwame Harrison interviewed area hip hop artists for this entertaining and informative book, he also performed as the emcee "Mad Squirrel." His immersion in the subculture provides him with unique insights into this dynamic and racially diverse but close-knit community.
Hip Hop Underground examines the changing nature of race among young Americans, and examines the issues of ethnic and racial identification, interaction, and understanding. Critiquing the notion that the Bay Area underground music scene is genuinely "colorblind," Harrison focuses on the issue of race to show how various ethnic groups engage hip hop in remarkably divergent ways—as a means to both claim subcultural legitimacy and establish their racial authenticity.
About the Author
Anthony Kwame Harrison holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology/Program in Africana Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Popular Music Studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Walk in the Park
1. Race in America and Underground Hip Hop in the Bay
2. Experiencing the Bay
3. Claiming Hip Hop: Race and the Ethics of Underground Hip Hop Participation
4. The Re- vision and Continued Salience of Race
5. (Re)Mixed Messages