Global Hip Hop Studies has grown tremendously since it started in 1984. Scholars from a number of disciplines have published numerous journal articles, books, dissertations and theses. They have also presented at multiple academic conferences and taught classes on global Hip Hop. “Can It Be Bigger Than Hip Hop?: From Global Hip Hop Studies to Hip Hop Studies” traces this history and examines the key authors, intellectual interventions, methods, and theories of this field. I used an interdisciplinary methodology entailing participant observations of local Hip Hoppas and the examination of more than five hundred scholarly texts that I assembled into a Global Hip Hop Studies bibliography. I conducted this study from the perspective of an Africana scholar who also identifies as Hip Hop. While analyzing Global Hip Hop Studies, I made two discoveries: scholars created artificial boundaries between Hip Hop Studies and Global Hip Hop Studies and they too narrowly focused on their specific region without accounting for Hip Hop’s global connections. As such, “Can It Be Bigger Than Hip Hop?” sets the tone for the special issue and lays out “If I Ruled the World’s” central argument: Global Hip Hop Studies is Hip Hop Studies. If we are to understand Hip Hop, we need to go beyond the United States. Moreover, Hip Hop is an African diasporic phenomenon that consists of multiple flows that create Hip Hop ciphas around the world.
Harris, Travis T.
"Can It Be Bigger Than Hip Hop?: From Global Hip Hop Studies to Hip Hop,"
Journal of Hip Hop Studies: Vol. 6
, Article 7.
Available at: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/jhhs/vol6/iss2/7