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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Hip hop’s big takeover, four decades deep, has gone hand-in-hand with the age of digital globalization. Charts and numbers, playlists and soundscan tallies cannot fully measure the influence and mobility of hip hop’s emerging digitalities, which move swiftly across the global media landscape and bring global fans and practitioners into their collaborative folds. After decades of concern with the elusive question of what hip hop is across its historical trajectory, critical media studies is turning to the question of what hip hop does for its practitioners in the context of digital globalization. As this study shows, the long-standing field of Black aesthetic studies can nourish new approaches to understanding a transnational digital landscape in which popular music has become a premium site for emergent digital creativity, even as many of these communities fall across the digital divide that makes professional production software, hardware, and training difficult to access. Today, hip hop is as much a global field of digital design as it is a body of musical production.

Keywords: digital media, hip hop praxis, Chance The Rapper, Mississippi Delta hip hop, Senegalese hip hop, mediascape

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