Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Glocalization of Hip-Hop: Think Global and Hip-Hop Local

5 Rappers Poised For Rap/EDM Crossover Success
Originally posted March 21, 2014 at 10:00AM EDT
5 Rappers Poised For Rap/EDM Crossover Success

From A$AP Rocky to Angel Haze, the recent success of EDM-infused Hip Hop has ushered in a crop of artists poised to capitalize on cross-genre crossover appeal.

Whether completely hating the move or willing to accept it as logical progression, EDM’s occupation of Rap music is a reality whose demise is like not coming anytime soon. The relationship reached new heights as mainstream popular emcee A$AP Rocky’s hotly-anticipated new material was far less about “boom bap” and more about “oontz oontz.” He paired with Kanye West-favored French techno artist Gesaffelstein for “In Distress,” and with trap-as-EDM favorite Baauer (of “Harlem Shake” fame) for “Riot Rave.” Paired with rapping over Skrillex and Birdy Nam Nam production collaboration “Wild for the Night” on 2013 album Long.Live.A$AP, it would appear as though Rocky (alongside the likes of fellow Skrillex collaborator Chance the Rapper, and EDM devotee Angel Haze) has become the go-to name as Rap acquaints itself with a new (yet possibly strange) bedfellow. However, this story having long-term potential will likely be about a whole lot more than the success of A$AP Rocky. There are a few other names that, given their style and aesthetic, are actually a far better fit for Rap as it veers down this most unique of lanes. While there are likely many who will attempt, these are the five that more-than-likely will, could, and ideally should be allowed to prosper in this divergent (yet mainstream) lane in a major way.

[W]hile the core essence and elements of hip hop are shared by all members of national cultures, the aesthetic is adapted to suit multiple national cultures, localized conditions and grievances. As such, the genre is imbued with issues, language and other cultural markers reflective of local environments (Motley and Henderson, 2008, p. 248).
 ...packaging of hip-hop as a global commodity has facilitated its easy access by young people in many different parts of the world. Moreover, such appropriations have in each case involved a reworking of hip-hop in ways which engage with local circumstances. In every respect then, hip-hop is both a global and a local form. (Bennett, 1999, 5)

Hip-hop culture, especially the music, is so malleable that consumers can find in it different meanings. In other words, the ... elements (i.e., DJing, MCing, graffiti, breakdancing) take on differing significance and importance weights depending on the artist and the audience (c.f., Kjeldgaard and Askegaard, 2006). Individuals process them in diverse ways and incorporate hip-hop into their everyday cultural lives for varying reasons. This flexibility and pliability is what has lead, in part, to hip-hop music being able to crossover into and be adapted within multiple (sub) cultures of connective marginalities. Individually, or collectively, those miles and oceans away from New York City seek it out, like it, embrace it, and want to make their own (Motley and Henderson, 2008, p. 249).