The article examines Hip Hop music's relationship with African cultural symbolism and the discipline of Africana Studies. The author maintains that Africana Studies must reclaim the study of cultural semiosis, which may be used to contextualize Hip Hop praxis. Examining semeiotic traces within African and Afrodiasporic primary sources, including Hip Hop lyrics, the article posits that Hip Hop is the latest development in a long tradition of Afro-Kemetic oral artistry, semeiotic systems and the uses of these dual literacies as modes of resistance and affirmations of Black historical and cultural agency. The article adapts Harryette Mullen's literary model of African Spirit Writing and Elaine Richardson's Hip Hop Literacy studies to discuss specific constructs that affirm an African Diasporic worldview and foster resistance to the dominant political-economy that frames Black agency.
© The Journal
Livingston, Samuel T.
"Speech is My Hammer, It's Time to Build: Hip Hop, Cultural Semiosis and the Africana Intellectual Heritage,"
Journal of Hip Hop Studies: Vol. 1
, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/jhhs/vol1/iss1/6