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Synopsis

Hip Hop's Inheritance arguably offers the first book-length treatment of what hip hop culture has, literally, 'inherited' from the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts movement, the Feminist Art movement, and 1980s and 1990s postmodern aesthetics. By comparing and contrasting the major motifs of the aforementioned cultural aesthetic traditions with those of hip hop culture, all the while critically exploring the origins and evolution of black popular culture from antebellum America through to 'Obama's America,' Hip Hop's Inheritance demonstrates that the hip hop generation is not the first generation of young black (and white) folk preoccupied with spirituality and sexuality, race and religion, entertainment and athletics, or ghetto culture and bourgeois culture. Taking interdisciplinarity and intersectionality seriously, Hip Hop's Inheritance employs the epistemologies and methodologies from a wide range of academic and organic intellectual/activist communities in its efforts to advance an intellectual history and critical theory of hip hop culture. Drawing from academic and organic intellectual/activist communities as diverse as African American studies and women's studies, postcolonial studies and sexuality studies, history and philosophy, politics and economics, and sociology and ethnomusicology, Hip Hop's Inheritance calls into question one-dimensional and monodisciplinary interpretations or, rather, misinterpretations, of a multidimensional and multivalent form of popular culture that has increasingly come to include cultural criticism, social commentary, and political analysis.

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