This passage from an interview with local Utrecht rapper and Kytopia jazz hip hop collective member MC PAX highlights the transnational consciousness of artists working in translocal, cosmopolitan spaces. Further it foregrounds the value of connectivity, which supports musical and cultural networks while also promoting the notion of authenticity attached to particular streams of Black music. Paradoxically, this system of values also acknowledges the
cosmopolitan roots of European mixed-mediated, jazz-based hip hop collectivities active during the twenty-first century. By identifying a network of artists presumed artistically, aesthetically and politically relevant, including Jay-Z, Common, Mos Def and Erika Badu, MC PAX offers a coterie of influences, which instantiate a pivotal moment of converging digital, transnational and mixed-mediated practices and prioritize both recent and older Black music sources (roots) and especially jazz as the locus for subsequent European jazz and hip hop ingenuity. Artists contributing to the hip hop jazz scenes of Utrecht, Amsterdam and other “New European” cities “grow their own trees,” so to speak, and contribute to musical collectives that eventually lead to cosmopolitan and translocal artistic affiliations within local music scenes. These hybrid identifications and practices or “global fascinations” as theorized by Ioannis Tsiolakis reveal how musicians simultaneously look outward while producing at home. More importantly they reveal how such transformations and systems of production, distribution and interpretation ultimately influence how European collectivities accommodate both local and global cultural flows to produce intimately meaningful local enactments in the twenty-first century.