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Afro-Colombian Hip-Hop

Globalization, Transcultural Music, and Ethnic Identities

Christopher Dennis

Afro-Colombian Hip-Hop: Globalization, Transcultural Music, and Ethnic Identities, by Christopher Dennis, explores the impact that globalization and the transnational spread of U.S. popular culture—specifically hip-hop and rap—are having on the social identities of younger generations of black Colombians. Along with addressing why and how hip-hop has migrated so effectively to Colombia’s black communities, Dennis introduces readers to some of the country’s most renowned Afro-Colombian hip-hop artists, their musical innovations, and production and distribution practices. Above all, Dennis demonstrates how, through a mode of transculturation, today’s young artists are transforming U.S. hip-hop into a more autonomous art form used for articulating oppositional social and political critiques, reworking ethnic identities, and actively contributing to the reimagining of the Colombian nation.
Afro-Colombian Hip-Hop uncovers ways in which young Afro-Colombian performers are attempting to use hip-hop and digital media to bring the perspectives, histories, and expressive forms of their marginalized communities into national and international public consciousness.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 204Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-5056-6 • Hardback • December 2011 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
978-0-7391-5058-0 • eBook • December 2011 • $80.00 • (£52.95)
Christopher Dennis is a professor of Spanish language and Latin American Literature and Cultures at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. In addition to his research on hip-hop, he has also published articles on Afro-Colombian literature, racial iconography relevant to Cartagena's tourist industry, and the discursive representation of black subjects in Colombian colonial literature.


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Hip-HopAfrocolombiano: Origins, Production, and Distribution Practices

Chapter 3: Afro-Colombian Hip-Hop: Resistance and Political Protest

Chapter 4: The Afro-Colombian Hip-Hop Narrative and Emerging Identity Constructs

Chapter 5: The "Afro-Colombianization" of Hip-Hop

Chapter 6: A(n) (Afro)Colombian Hip-Hop Nation

Chapter 7: Conclusions: The Two Sides of Globalization


Selected Discography


In this wonderful and insightful book, Christopher Dennis describes the complex ways in which young Afro-Colombians have taken hip-hop musical culture to negotiate a transnational sense of belonging that rises above the marginalization they have traditionally experienced in their country. Afro-Colombian hip-hop shows how, within the contradictions of globalization, music allows neglected communities to actively participate in the re-imagination of the nation state.
Alejandro L. Madrid, Author of Nor-Tec Rifa! Electronic Dance Music from Tijuana to the World

Afro-Colombian Hip-Hop: Globalization, Transcultural Music, and Ethnic Identities offers a fresh and innovative approach to discourses on national, cultural and ethnic identity within a Colombian, yet globalized, context. Through an analytical study of contemporary cultural materiality and the producers of such, this critical examination renders relevant, present-day articulations that add to the historiography on revolutionary, social justice efforts on the part of Colombia’s marginalized brought forth by a new generation of social activists utilizing the artillery of the spoken-word through rap and Hip-Hop music. A truly provocative read.
Antonio D. Tillis, Dartmouth College

Drawing on extensive interviews, song lyrics, and a detailed history of black Colombians’ embrace of hip hop, this important book takes contemporary black musical expression in Colombia as its guiding thread, along which the author traces the mixed loyalties and competing authenticities through which young Afro-Colombians articulate themselves as black, as Colombian, as local, as global, as hip-hop “real.” Not only does the book provide insight into the Spanish-speaking world’s largest Afro-descendent population, the words of its Afro-Colombian protagonists and the author’s analytic insights shed light on issues of cultural authenticity and the political mobilization of expressive culture that are of central concern to black popular musicians the world over.
Michael Birenbaum Quintero, Bowdoin College