Synopses & Reviews
At its rhythmic, beating heart, Close to the Edge asks whether hip hop can change the world. Hip hop—rapping, beat-making,b-boying, deejaying, graffiti—captured the imagination of the teenage Sujatha Fernandes in the 1980s, inspiring her and politicizing her along the way. Years later, armed with mc-ing skills and an urge to immerse herself in global hip hop, she embarks on a journey into street culture around the world. From the south side of Chicago to the barrios of Caracas and Havana and the sprawling periphery of Sydney, she grapples with questions of global voices and local critiques, and the rage that underlies both. An engrossing read and an exhilarating travelogue, this punchy book also asks hard questions about dispossession, racism, poverty and the quest for change through a microphone.
Close to the Edge tells the stories of a global generation that came of age with hip hop. Part memoir, part social history, the book relates the author's experiences as she traverses the hip hop globe, from Australia to Detroit and from Havana to Caracas. The book explores the elements of hip hop culture--rapping, beat making, b-boying, d-jaying, and graffiti-- as they melded with street cultures and local slang to be reinvented around the world. Close to the Edge narrates a search for solidarities across borders, a document of the diverse histories, misunderstandings, and fissures that hip hop engendered as it went global, and a powerful demonstration of the power of music to forge radical political alliances.
The global politics of hip hop.
About the Author
Sujatha Fernandes is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is the author of Cuba Represent! Cuban Arts, State Power, and the Making of New Revolutionary Cultures; Who Can Stop the Drums? Urban Social Movements in Chávez’s Venezuela; and Close to the Edge.