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date: 17 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This study combines ethnographic fieldwork and textual analysis of musical tracks to explore the ways that women hip hop emcees are making claims to Detroit: sonically, discursively, and materially. Articulating the larger role this music plays in the effort to mobilize citizens is especially important in the wake of recent tensions tied to Detroit’s myriad problems and its redevelopment strategies post-bankruptcy. This chapter illustrates the ways that this music reclaims urban space, filling it not only with silenced voices but also with the rhythmic, melodic, driving, and gritty sounds of hip hop. It also functions as a primary means for organizing and practicing both community and individual ethics of self-care in a city where neoliberal policies of urban renewal and gentrification are victimizing its population.

Keywords: Detroit, emcee, gentrification, hip hop, neoliberalism, post-bankruptcy, self-care, urban renewal, women

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