Conclusion – Hip Hop Studies and/as Postcolonial Studies

Chapter Abstract

The book ends by considering a continuity between hip hop and postcolonial studies described as the “mechanics of the double bind.” This continuity is built into a conclusion theorizing the field of hip hop studies as a necessary cognate field of postcolonial studies. After a brief assessment of the promise of global hip hop studies the chapter issues a call to hip hop scholars premised on the book’s three pillars. To give force to this call and elaborate what it might look like in practice, the chapter turns to the cultural terrain of Irish hip hop. It tracks the ways that Irish artists use hip hop to perform their postcolonial critiques through local and national revolutionary histories, refigurations of Irish language and traditional music, and the sonic and rhetorical contours of hip hop. The artists examined construct an internationalist identity perched on the moral high ground of American civil rights discourse while critically engaging national stereotypes and militating against occupation of their “paradise,” the Emerald Isle. The book thus models how hip hop scholars might build an array of disparate approaches into a cohesive theory of hip hop and postcoloniality—a theory built upon the doubly bound mechanics of counterhegemonic movement.

Chapter Keywords: hip hop studies, postcolonial studies, hegemony, Irish Revolution, Cork, Ireland, Irish traditional music, “Stranger in Paradise” (song), Black and Tans, “White Man’s Burden” (poem), Muhammad Ali

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The Epigraph…

“See my shit is universal, if you got knowledge of dolo
Or delf of self…”

-Q-Tip, of A Tribe Called Quest

 

…and the Secret Missing Epigraphs

“When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight.  You talk to me of nationality, language, religion.  I shall try to fly by those nets.”

-James Joyce

 

“Muß es sein?  Es muß sein!”

-Ludwig van Beethoven

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Chapter Media

Keepin’ it Reel: Trad-Tablism — Mikey Fingers, Danny Deepo, and Deviant perform Róisín Ní Gallóglaigh’s “Fire Hose Reel” on the ones and twos

 

Lunatic and Buachaill Dána, “No Boundaries” (Intro demonstrates the continuities in compound meters between Irish traditional music and hip hop turntablism)

 

Temper-Mental MissElayneous, “Cailín Rua” [Red-Haired Girl]

 

Rubber Bandits, “Horse Outside”

 

Jun Tzu, “Wee Johnny”

 

Spekulativ Fiktion, “Adrift on an Aimless Tide” (starts at 3:45)

 

Rejjie Snow, “Lost in Empathy”

 

Scary Éire, “Truncheon Song”

 

Marxman feat. Sinéad O’Connor, “Ship Ahoy”

 

Young Phantom freestyle from Cork’s Urban Jungle

 

Rusangano Family, “Lights On”

 

Rusangano Family, “Soul Food”

… thus concludes our whirlwind tour of hip hop on the Emerald Isle.

 

*  *  *  on to the main event!  *  *  *

Good Vibe Society, “December 11th”

More on the track

“Strangers in Paradise” (listen for the hook: the signature “transcendent” rising fifth)

 

Muhammad Ali in Ireland (1972 Interview with Cathal O’Shannon on RTÉ)

 

Watch the full interview including Ali’s poem “Freedom – Better Now” (43:18): here