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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Hip hop is noise. It is a composite binding of contemporary, postmodern technologies and orally based ideologies that disrupts the normative and traditional characteristics of mainstream media and culture in order to create a space for subcultural revolt and resistance. Nowhere is this more fascinating than in the soundtracks of New Black Realism, African American independent cinema of the 1990s. Drawing on case studies from some of the earliest work of Spike Lee, as the foremost proponent of the genre, this chapter reads the sound and music of these narrative films through fundamental characteristics in hip hop as a postliterate orality, arguing that such an approach allows us to explore the rebellious possibilities of the music as, not just on, the cinematic soundtrack.

Keywords: New Black Realism, hip hop, soundtrack, film sound, Spike Lee, postliterate orality, repetition, versioning, voice

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