Jeffrey G. Ogbar


On his book Hip-Hop Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Rap

Cover Interview of September 29, 2009


Ultimately, this book explores the culture and politics of hip-hop by providing a broad historic context and wide-ranging use of sources and texts.  If your favorite rapper has sold anywhere near gold in the last twenty years, chances are I consider his or her impact and contribution to the art.  I look at activism, policy, race, gender, class and intellectual engagement in hip-hop.  I think that laypeople will be surprised to see exactly how diverse the hip-hop community in the U.S. is.

Moreover, many hip-hop denizens of a divided hip-hop nation may be surprised at the range of expression among artists.  Others will be amazed to see how many of the current debates about artistic direction and “authenticity” are identical to those of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s.  It really offers a broad historical and social exploration of the nexus of generation, gender, class and race in the context of America’s latest truly unique artistic gift to the world.

Finally, I think that this book offers a cursory history of African Americans since the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, but exploring the socio-economic landscape, demographic shifts, and debates that have characterized the last forty years, with a particular attention to younger people.

© Jeffrey Ogbar