Hip Hop at Europe's Edge

Hip Hop at Europe's Edge: Music, Agency, and Social Change
TitleHip Hop at Europe's Edge: Music, Agency, and Social Change
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMiszczynski, Milosz, and Adriana Helbig
Number of Pages311
PublisherIndiana University Press
CityBloomington, IN
Publication LanguageEnglish
ISBN or ASIN Number0253023041
KeywordsCentral Europe, Eastern Europe, ethnomusicology, popular culture, post-Soviet, Soviet Union, youth identity
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Responding to the development of a lively hip hop culture in Central and Eastern European countries, this interdisciplinary study demonstrates how a universal model of hip hop serves as a contextually situated platform of cultural exchange and becomes locally inflected. After the Soviet Union fell, hip hop became popular in urban environments in the region, but it has often been stigmatized as inauthentic, due to an apparent lack of connection to African American historical roots and black identity. Originally strongly influenced by aesthetics from the US, hip hop in Central and Eastern Europe has gradually developed unique, local trajectories, a number of which are showcased in this volume. On the one hand, hip hop functions as a marker of Western cosmopolitanism and democratic ideology, but as the contributors show, it is also a malleable genre that has been infused with so much local identity that it has lost most of its previous associations with "the West" in the experiences of local musicians, audiences, and producers. Contextualizing hip hop through the prism of local experiences and regional musical expressions, these valuable case studies reveal the broad spectrum of its impact on popular culture and youth identity in the post-Soviet world.