From Islam to Yeezies: How consumerism replaced knowledge in the media narratives of post 9/11 hip-hop

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The story of hip-hop has focussed primarily on the five tenets of DJing, rap, breakdance, graffiti and knowledge. While the first four of these have been clearly outlined as subcultural markers, the fifth area of hip hop has been mediated along more fluid lines, with a dominant mediated focus on Afrocentricity that had left the central role Islam hidden.
It was with the emergence of Public Enemy’s pro-Nation of Islam rhetoric that a fuller understanding of Islam as the ‘knowledge’ in hip hop became a feature of music press coverage. However, in revealing Nation of Islam in mainstream narratives, the more extreme and influential offshoot the Five Per Cent Nation became hidden.
Post 9/11, Five Per Centers came under closer scrutiny following tenuous links to a number of high profile home-grown terrorism cases in the US. In response, mainstream media actively removed Islam’s ‘knowledge’ from the story of hip-hop, replaced instead with consumerism.
This chapter will explore the shift in focus in the music press and hip hop documentaries pre and post-9/11 to show how the ‘knowledge’ of Islam, Nation of Islam and the Five Per Cent Nation have become replaced by designer clothes, sneakers and perfume.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedia Narratives in Popular Music
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Publication statusIn preparation - 2020

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    James, M. (2020). From Islam to Yeezies: How consumerism replaced knowledge in the media narratives of post 9/11 hip-hop. Manuscript in preparation. In Media Narratives in Popular Music Bloomsbury Academic.