Diplomacy: Mediating Estrangement

Samples have histories. Rappers have histories. Slang, flows, and dance moves and drum patterns all have histories. BARS and neighborhoods also have histories. In Hip Hop, various histories are proudly put on display and celebrated, and sometimes openly contested1. One can apply the same methodology to diplomacy. In this entry …

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Chuck D in Conversation with Talib Kweli

… well that’s that’s the language that’s the inner dynamic of hip-hop and MCs and DJs and all that, we have an inner language that hasn’t been curated and brought out into the world yet. There is this assumption that hip-hop is just what they see and what they hear. It’s beyond what you hear, beyond what you see and there’s an inner language that’s been going on for years.

People just get that from sports just now right, because sports used to be this thing you know, you go to the game, you watch people, they shoot hoops and all that, the winner/the looser and all that, but it’s metastasized in all these little networks and all that. I mean if you got 500 broadcasters, everybody’s getting into the nuances of the game and you do that 20-25 years and then people grow up with the nuances, so there’s this other language that takes place that they hone into – body language, justice, or total flow.

Hip-hop never really got off the bricks with that, it got to a point and then all of a sudden it was appropriated by other situations so it never grew past the point where you had the administration and the scholars in lock, teaching and curating what it is so people could grow with it, and venture off to new areas. It is! it’s scattered though. It’s scattered all across many lands, across the world. I’ve been to 116 countries, on a regular and go back and forth. And there is areas that curate way better than we do, but they’re in different languages as well you know…

Chuck D 2020

The full interview is available here.

The Postcolonial Translocal Mandate

The specificity of the modern political and cultural formation I want to call the black Atlantic can be defined, on one level, through this desire to transcend both the structures of the nation state and the constraints of ethnicity and national particularity. These desires are relevant to understanding political organising …

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Hip Hop Intellectual Resistance

Hip Hop Intellectual Resistance by A. Shahid Stover is not the point of departure for DIY Cultural Diplomacy, but it may be its attempt. I subscribe to the general postcolonial idea that resistance can vary in form and outcome. The term’s ambiguity is acceptable because it does well with recognizing …

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