The music journalist Sidney Shaw, the leading female character in the 2002 movie Brown Sugar, opened each of her interviews with rap artists with a simple question, “When did you fall in love with hip-hop?” The answers to this question featured in the film provide a celebratory history of hip hop’s origins in the Bronx with the innovative deejaying of DJ Kool Herc on August 11, 1973, the release of Sugar Hill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight in 1979, and the explosion of the culture in the 1980s and 1990s as a critical force in music, art, dancing, fashion, language, religion, education, and politics in the U.S. and abroad. Hip Hop has provided its producers and adherents with the tools to articulate African Americans’ social and political realities in urban neighborhoods on the East and West Coasts, the Dirty South, and everywhere in between. In honor of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop music and culture, the editors of Black Perspectives, the award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual Society, invite submissions from scholars who have fallen in love with the music and culture and seek to add to the ongoing scholarship of Michael Eric Dyson, Monica Miller, Jeff Chang, and others who have contributed to hip hop studies. These essays should consider, but are not limited to, the following topics:
- The elements of hip-hop culture (music, dancing, deejaying, graffiti)
- Women in Hip Hop
- Religions of the African Diaspora and hip-hop music
- Rappers and the prosperity gospel
- Steve Stoute and the “tanning” of American business marketing with hip-hop culture
- Rap music and protest movements
- Hip Hop and the teaching of Black history and culture
- Gender, sexuality, and hip hop
Submissions should be between 750 and 1500 words. They must be submitted to the senior editors no later than June 30th by 11:59 pm Eastern time. With your submission, please provide your bio (250-300 words) and a headshot (for use if your essay is accepted).
All submissions will undergo a peer review process before they are accepted. Please click here for more details on the blog’s submission guidelines as well as information regarding format and citations.permission.