Hip Hop Interpellation
DOI link for Hip Hop Interpellation
Hip Hop Interpellation book
Ireland is a nation in which poetry, music and storytelling figure prominently in constructions of national identity. It is also a country with a proud history of anti-colonial struggle and diasporic consciousness. These legacies figure prominently in the ways that hip hop has been engaged as a tool of cultural expression and political resistance by Irish MCs and DJs – from the street reporting, revolutionary lyrics and “Celtic funk” of pioneers ScaryÉire and Marxman to the epic references, Joycean wordplay, and trad soundscapes of contemporary artists like Temper-Mental MissElayneous and Spekulativ Fiktion. Such “knowledge of self” is of central ideological import in hip hop praxis and a prominent topic of hip hop scholarship. Through ethnographic and archival research – including collaborative storytelling with artists – this chapter tells a history of hip hop in Ireland. In so doing, however, it also makes a larger claim about the relationship between the ways that this irreducibly black American art form has been appropriated globally and the ways that “entrenched oral traditions of storytelling and poetry stretching back thousands of years have incorporated hip hop into their cultures” (Pennycook and Mitchell 2009). I posit the “hip hop interpolation” thesis: Why has this highly localized, particularized and authenticating black American music translated so easily to far-flung communities and contexts around the globe? Because those places were already hip hop. They just didn’t know it yet.