The spatiality of culture, specifically Hip Hop, and the reverberations between space and identity are the core concern of this essay. In deconstructing and contextualizing the concept of the Global South by discussing the practices of respective Hip Hop communities, this paper aims at laying bare the oversimplifications inherent in those seemingly natural spatial dimensions. The Global South can, thus, not be understood as a concise and objective term. Instead, it implies a highly normative concept and can be made to reveal or conceal specific attributes of the culture in question. Deliberately creating a cultural and artistic discourse in which the Hip Hop “tribe” of the Global South can be understood as politically and socially activist, revolutionary, and highly critical of the powers that are, artists use this concept to inspire a sense of collective identity based on the opposition to the global hegemony of the empire and an appreciation of local culture and customs.
Authenticating the cultural practices of Hip Hop through the incorporation of local aesthetics for these artists goes hand in hand with a re-creation of the material and normative structure of Hip Hop, and the re-enactment of the myth of the genesis of Hip Hop. These voices are able to contribute significantly to the continued discourse on global hegemony and resistance as they constantly remind us about the intricacies of colonial, racist, and exoticizing sentiments whose relevance and significance is evident. Their art exemplifies that, like the issue of race in the US which is far from resolved, the issue of European colonialism still has to be surmounted.
"Configurations of Space and Identity in Hip Hop: Performing “Global South”,"
Journal of Hip Hop Studies: Vol. 6
, Article 16.
Available at: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/jhhs/vol6/iss2/16