Although Hip Hop is known to come from the streets of South Bronx, New York, its origins go far deeper than that. Unconsciously, the innovative souls of the 1970s Hip Hop movement demonstrated the captivating, vibrational sound of the five regions in Africa: Northern Africa, Western Africa, Eastern Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa. Thus, The Griot Tradition as Remixed through Hip Hop: Straight Outta Africa fleshes out the common threads of Hip Hop’s creative genius across the African diaspora and provides an analytical rubric as a guide to a greater understanding of Hip Hop. The author, Frederick Gooding, examines why Hip Hop holds such an important place within contemporary culture in order to determine how a genre that was so controversial and marginal could become mainstream and central. Through the use of various genres, artists, styles, sounds, images, and rhetorical techniques, Gooding analyzes how Hip Hop, when seen through the lens of African connection, can be appreciated for its regenerative and connective power to create relationships between people both nationally and internationally.
Frederick W. Gooding, Jr. is associate history professor and the Dr. Ronald E. Moore endowed professor of humanities at Texas Christian University.
Introduction: The Beat Goes On
Chapter 1: Hip Hop, Explained
Chapter 2: Down by Law
Chapter 3: The Drum Speaks
Chapter 4: The Power of Griots
Chapter 5: Sound Reasoning
Chapter 6: Gather Round: Understanding the Cypher
Chapter 7: Dancing with the Ancestors
Chapter 8: The Magic of Musical Ubuntu
Conclusion: And You Don’t Stop…
About the Author
Frederick Gooding’s Hip Hop-inspired accessible writing style allows readers to grasp one of his central points—that framing Hip Hop inside of his concept of the Great Black Vibration is a beautifully engaging way to understand the music’s African origins, its U.S. cultural specificities, and its travel around the globe.
While so many continue to talk about what Hip Hop isn’t, Gooding draws attention to what it is: a sonic tool for Black expression, community building, intercultural exchange, alternative pedagogy, and a counter to the destructive forces of the “Unholy Trinity.” In breaking down rap to its very first compound, he calls back to African philosophies and practices to present Hip Hoppers as the griots of modern times.