Monday, September 20, 2010

"Get at me!" - Assimlation, acculturation, and rejection of Hip Hop from around the world

I've become fascinated with the idea of Hip Hop as a tool for cultural imperialism and its stake in 'global' music. Global is nothing new. Previous U.S. genres have been sent off to Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America for cultural consumption. But in the era of the 'cut'n'paste' the 'mix and blen' and the 'mashup'... we are now dealing with a musical genre that prides itself on the sample, the collabo, and the remix. In this regard, there should be room for organic development and mutations of various strengths, popularity and codes. As inclusive as this sounds, we also have some political and social tectonic plates underneath that continue the pressure of societal friction, power, and imposition.

Folks from other nations have taken on various ways to combat, deal, and figure it out. So what I have is a collection of music put into different categories as to how folks from around the world deal with Hip Hop as a global product. Some immerse with a warm embrace, others have used it as a reference point to make their own mark. And others took on the challenge of resisting another cultural attack and responded with their own. So the following are vids that exemplify these different approaches, which some may call defeated, and other may call a successful defense.. .in any instance, this music can be irritating, informing, or educating on how Americans are seen and received by others.

Type 1 - "Assimilation": Grabbing the iconography, with strong adoption to cultural aesthetics of the genre... stereotype and assumptions, usually speaking in the host genre's language. Here we have UK's Hardnoise and Sudan/Australia's Bangs.

Type 2 - "Adoption": a Stronger understanding of the genre, keeping in touch with the blueprints of the host genre... this even includes laying down samples over 'classic' hip hop or other templates. Artists may speak in their own language, or at least ground their topics in their own nation's context. Here we have France, Chile, Somalia/Canada.

Type 3 - "Pastiche": collecting various genres and laying them out in a linear fashion, to create continuity but without hybridity.

05-eva by actual1

Type 4 - "Hybrid": A first level hybridity... taking musical influences and melding them together, creating a whole that can transgress various lines. Here we have Roots Manuva blending Dub Reggae, British Slang and Jamaican Patois.

Type 5 - "Reappropriated": A complete rework. Influences are apparent but not immediately identifiable. Here we have UK Grime and Brazil Baile Funk to show a rework of a rework of a rework to a whole new genre. Often in rejection of Hip Hop's cultural imperialism or as a result of so much hybridity.

Type 6 - "Deconstructed": Taking elements of the genre, removing yourself from the parameters of social issues, culture, and aesthetics embedded and reworking them completely out of the context in which they were made... seen as sarcasm, irony, satire. Die Antwoord, from South Africa, is actually an off-shoot project from MaxNormal.TV, who work in Dada Avant Beat music with Hip Hop grounding. They now went toward the mainstream by adopting more Hip Hop templates, but totally satirizing it.

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