Rethinking Hip-Hop

The Dish

Questlove bemoans the state of hip-hop, “an entire cultural movement, packed into one hyphenated adjective”:

These days, nearly anything fashioned or put forth by black people gets referred to as “hip-hop,” even when the description is a poor or pointless fit. “Hip-hop fashion” makes a little sense, but even that is confusing: Does it refer to fashions popularized by hip-hop musicians, like my Lego heart pin, or to fashions that participate in the same vague cool that defines hip-hop music? Others make a whole lot of nonsense: “Hip-hop food”? “Hip-hop politics”? “Hip-hop intellectual”? And there’s even “hip-hop architecture.” What the hell is that? A house you build with a Hammer? …

On the one hand, you can point to this as proof of hip-hop’s success. The concept travels. But where has it traveled? The danger is that it has drifted into oblivion.

He relates an encounter he had with a…

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