The Cambridge Companion to Hip-Hop

Author(s): Justin A. Williams


It has been more than thirty-five years since the first commercial recordings of hip-hop music were made. This Companion, written by renowned scholars and industry professionals reflects the passion and scholarly activity occurring in the new generation of hip-hop studies. It covers a diverse range of case studies from Nerdcore hip-hop to instrumental hip-hop to the role of rappers in the Obama campaign and from countries including Senegal, Japan, Germany, Cuba, and the UK. Chapters provide an overview of the 'four elements' of hip-hop - MCing, DJing, break dancing (or breakin'), and graffiti - in addition to key topics such as religion, theatre, film, gender, and politics. Intended for students, scholars, and the most serious of 'hip-hop heads', this collection incorporates methods in studying hip-hop flow, as well as the music analysis of hip-hop and methods from linguistics, political science, gender and film studies to provide exciting new perspectives on this rapidly developing field.


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Justin A. Williams is Lecturer in Music at the University of Bristol, and the author of Rhymin and Stealin: Musical Borrowing in Hip-hop (2013). He has taught at Leeds College of Music, Lancaster University and Anglia Ruskin University, and has been published in Popular Music, Popular Music History, and The Journal of Musicology. As a professional trumpet and piano player in California, he ran a successful jazz piano trio and played with the band Bucho! which won a number of Sacramento Area Music Awards and were signed to two record labels. He has co-written (with Ross Wilson) an article on digital crowd funding for The Oxford Handbook to Music and Virtuality and is currently co-editing (with Katherine Williams) The Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter.

Introduction: the interdisciplinary world of hip-hop studies Justin A. Williams; Part I. Elements: 1. MC origins: rap and spoken word poetry Alice Price-Styles; 2. Hip-hop dance Imani K. Johnson; 3. Hip-hop visual arts Ivor Miller; 4. DJs and turntabilism Kjetil Falkenberg Hansen; 5. The fifth element: knowledge Travis Gosa; 6. Hip-hop and religion: from the mosque to the church Christina Zanfagna; 7. Hip-hop theater and performance Nicole Hodges Persley; Part II. Methods and Concepts: 8. Lyrics and flow in rap music Oliver Kautny; 9. The musical analysis of hip-hop Kyle Adams; 10. The glass: hip-hop production Chris Tabron; 11. Hip-hop and racial identification: an (auto)ethnographic perspective Anthony Kwame Harrison; 12. Thirty years of rapsploitation: hip-hop culture in American cinema Geoff Harkness; 13. Barbz and kings: explorations of gender and sexuality in hip-hop Regina Bradley; 14. Hip-hop and politics Chris Deis; 15. Intertextuality, sampling, and copyright Justin A. Williams; Part III. Case Studies: 16. Nerdcore hip-hop Amanda Sewell; 17. Framing gender, race, and hip-hop in Boyz in the Hood, Do the Right Thing and Slam Adam Haupt; 18. Japanese hip-hop: alternative stories Noriko Manabe; 19. Council estate of mind: the British rap tradition and London's hip-hop scene Richard Bramwell; 20. Cuban hip-hop Sujatha Fernandes; 21. Senegalese hip-hop Ali Coleen Neff; 22. Off the grid: instrumental hip-hop and experimentalism after the golden age Mike D'Errico; 23. Stylized Turkish German as the resistance vernacular of German hip-hop Brenna Byrd; 24. 'Bringin' '88 back': historicizing rap music's greatest year Loren Kajikawa; 25. 'Where ya at?': Hip-hop's political locations in the Obama era Michael Jeffries.

General Fields

  • : 9781107643864
  • : Cambridge University Press
  • : Cambridge University Press
  • : February 2015
  • : 247mm X 174mm X 18mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 365
  • : 782.421649
  • : Paperback
  • : Justin A. Williams
  • : 20 b/w illus. 11 music examples