Two cities, one genre, countless vibes: Exploring the hip-hop community in Amsterdam and Los Angeles

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By Ariella Abrams and Andrew Frantela

Growing up in Los Angeles has provided us with the ideal environment to be avid consumers of hip-hop music. Prior to exploring Amsterdam, we had never been exposed to anything but the American version of the genre. Conducting this research while on exchange in Amsterdam, it was intriguing to see a starkly different perspective of the hip-hop genre—the Dutch perspective, or ‘Nederhop’. Furthermore, we were particularly interested in the opposing concepts of ‘underground’ hip-hop and ‘mainstream’ hip-hop. The underground scene seemed more authentic to us, not to mention the fact that underground hip-hop is just cool. We delved into research that would enlighten us about what causes the differentiation and how the players in the scene interact with the genre. Since we both have our own experiences with the underground hip-hop scene in Los Angeles, we decided to compare underground hip-hop scenes in Los Angeles and Amsterdam. While approaching our research, we were mindful not to employ any prior biased opinions on hip-hop or particular artists. We allowed for our interviewees to come to their own conclusions about the purposes of the genre and the way they feel when listening to hip-hop. This resulted in many of them having very different opinions on the subject, and not hesitating to voice them passionately.

Our case study

Hip-hop is a global movement, prevalent across diverse cultures and age groups. It is our aim to draw comparisons between the realm of the genre in underground Dutch and American scenes. We feel that there are two key elements to examine: the content of the music and the social context of the scene. We feel that both of these components are equally important when considering the impact of hip-hop on youth cultures. We are particularly interested in the core values that attract members of the American hip-hop scene and the Dutch hip-hop scene to the music and the movement. After looking into the Amsterdam underground hip-hop scene briefly, we found that members of this scene don’t necessarily relate to the materialism, misogyny, and selfishness that resonate in much of American hip-hop, and instead gravitate towards divergent themes of unity and expression. We explored this possibility using ethnographic, qualitative research. In our research we focused on the following question: To what extent does the way that youth identify with underground hip-hop in Amsterdam differ from the way that youth identify with underground hip-hop in Los Angeles? What are the similarities and differences in the core values attracting youth to hip-hop in each culture?

We conducted our research in Amsterdam using a variety of methods. To seek out research participants, we attended hip-hop events around Amsterdam and had informal conversations with members of the Dutch hip-hop subculture. In addition, we used our powers of observation at these events. Finally, we conducted in-depth interviews with informed participants from both Los Angeles and Amsterdam. We attended hip-hop nights at the Amsterdam clubs Melkweg, Cafe de Duivel, and Bitterzoet. In addition, we attended a concert by Los Angeles rapper Dom Kennedy which was also at Melkweg. These site visits took place over the course of two months. We drew from our own experiences with the Los Angeles underground hip-hop scene, with a focus on previously attended concerts and the cultural landmark Low End Theory that takes place every Wednesday night in downtown Los Angeles.

Another question we explored was: What is it that makes certain hip-hop ‘underground’ and ‘authentic’? We attempted to draw a line between underground and mainstream hip-hop and how the active members of the movement maintain authenticity. We assumed that members of the underground scene have the mentality to keep it real and authentic, however we expected to find the divergent few who are trying to ‘make it big’, valuing fame and financial success above all else. We will reveal whether these values are uniform across cultures or if one culture values certain concepts.

Two final questions we sought to answer were: To what extent does hip-hop act as a vehicle of agency for youth in each culture? And finally, how have Amsterdam youth localized a global movement like hip-hop? With regard to the concept of ‘youth’, it is relevant to note the demographic differences we immediately noticed between the research sites. Cafe de Duivel didn’t quite fit the youth description that we imagined. We attempted to speak to the youngest research participants possible, but the range of ages at the Duivel was anywhere from early 20s to late 40s, with the average falling in the early 30s. In addition, we observed that the crowd at Cafe de Duivel consisted mostly of ethnic minorities, many of them immigrants to the Netherlands. We spoke to people from South America, Africa, and the Middle-East. Hip-hop night at Melkweg also consisted of a diverse crowd, but a major discrepancy existed in the ages of the hip-hop fans, which seemed to be in the low 20s. We also observed that the crowd at the Dom Kennedy concert, as well as the crowd at Bitterzoet, was quite young. In addition, the majority of the Dom Kennedy concert attendees and Bitterzoet club-goers were Caucasian. This was fairly surprising to us—we expected to find a fairly homogeneous demographic make-up throughout the hip-hop events we attended.

Hip-hop and agency

We pose that the members of the underground hip-hop scene in both Los Angeles and Amsterdam have used hip-hop as a means of agency, to form their identity and give them a form of power and control. As Bucholtz (2002:543) explicitly states, ‘hip-hop is currently the cultural form most widely appropriated into new contexts around the world’. The function of our research will be to discern why youth in each culture identify with hip-hop, and how they use the music as a tool for agency.

The notion of authenticity is one of the most important elements that we focused on in our research. The problematic concept of authenticity will be discusses later on in the paper. Since hip-hop originated in America, in the English language, American culture certainly has had an influence as hip-hop has spread throughout the world. However, as we have seen in examples throughout the semester [in Youth Cultures in a Transnational Context, ed.], globalized movements are localized, adapted, and transitioned into new environments. It is our aim to try and discern what ‘real’ hip-hop is to Amsterdammers, and how they use it to represent an authentic identity. As Krims (2002:170) points out, differences in culture such as the relative lack of residential segregation and the far lower rate of violent crimes in Amsterdam as compared to America forced Dutch hip-hop to adapt and change, because many Dutch people couldn’t relate to themes in American rap. We want to examine how these differences have caused hip-hop to adapt and localize in Amsterdam.

There seems to be an inherent tension, as Pennycook (2007) states, between the globalization and localization of hip-hop, and it is effective to study language to examine this tension. Our plan is to use the content of hip-hop—the lyrics, the language, and the message—to try to understand how underground hip-hop in both Amsterdam and Los Angeles presents youth positions on ‘language and reality’ (Pennycook, 2007:112). We pose that the language and lyrical choices that hip-hop artists make in their music says something about how they view themselves—particularly as social agents of change.

A brief history of Nederhop

The following information can be attributed to Chriz the Wiz and the excellent work he does on his Dutch hip-hop blog, CheezSteez. Nederhop is a genre that was inspired by the phenomenon of American hip-hop. The internationalization of the initially American genre led to musicians and listeners throughout Europe adopting and adapting it. Nederhop has been present in the Netherlands for nearly as long as American hip-hop has been present in the States, the 1980s. Dutch rappers started out with English rhymes. This can be attributed to several reasons: they wanted to resemble American rappers, they wanted their music to be similar to American hip-hop in both stylistic and linguistic senses, and English is an oft-spoken language in the Netherlands. It is important to pay homage to the pioneers of Dutch hip-hop as those other than MC Miker G, DJ Sven, and De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, who are well known among larger audiences. Eventually, MC Miker G would make a song with DJ Sven that remixed a Madonna beat called Holiday Rap. According to Alex Pope, an Amsterdam local and lifelong hip-hop head,

‘Holiday Rap was was a huge record, worldwide, but it was such a sellout. Those guys, they pissed off a lot of their peers, but I don’t think they really cared. It’s a matter of making your core fans happy versus making your wallet happy. And it’s hard to blame them.’

Though these artists all achieved incredible commercial success and have spread hip-hop to different platforms and audiences, they are what we are labeling as ‘mainstream’. We are going to focus on some of the earliest hip-hop DJs and artists from Holland, such as Alien, Blonnie B, The Moonrunners, Extince, and All Star Fresh. Several of these artists have additionally achieved commercial success, but we have deemed them as authentic and ‘keepin’ it real’ because they have managed to make a distinction between the music and fame. Not all of them hail from Amsterdam, but they have all had a direct influence on the progression of Amsterdam hip-hop.

DJ Alien is considered to be a pioneer of hip-hop deejaying, one of the first in all of Holland. It was in 1983 that he performed for the first time with Jazz DMX, with Jazz rapping and Alien layering his rhymes over digitized beats. Jazz DMX, Kay Black, Blonnie B, and Alien united as one group and called themselves The Moonrunners. Together, they became one of the first hip-hop collectives in the history of Dutch rap.

We would be remiss if we did not give an honorable mention to ‘Rapper’s Delight’ by the Sugarhill Gang, one of the first rap songs to stream on Dutch radio waves and a track that enlightened many Dutch rap pioneers. Sugarhill Gang is an American hip-hop trio whose big hit rose to the top of the charts in 1980. Before this track dominated Holland, All Star Fresh, or Guan Elmzoon, was already jamming to disco beats layered over rap. He was a key player in Amsterdam’s hip-hop youth culture, which included street dancing, tagging, roller skating, and rapping. All Star Fresh was also one of the first to have a primarily hip-hop-centric radio show in the Netherlands, which went by the name of ‘Freakmixclub’. Before MC Miker G sold out with his gumpop track ‘Holiday’, he and Elmzoon teamed up and performed together. They collaborated until MC Miker G met DJ Sven and jumped from the underground to the mainstream. It was in the time period of the late eighties when the Netherlands came to make a name for itself in the rap game, with American pioneers like De La Soul hopping the pond to perform for the Dutch crowd.

Less than a decade later, gangsta rap rose to prominence in the United States, alienating Dutch listeners and rappers with violent lyrics and intensely heavy production. The Dutch had a much more difficult time connecting with this music that so heavily opposed the happy and romantic beats and lyrics of De La Soul or A Tribe Called Quest. Krims touches on this shift in his article entitled ‘Rap, race, the “local,” and urban geography in Amsterdam’ (2002), explicitly stating that ‘Dutch rappers and fans were alienated from music that described distant problems in such an aggressive manner’ (2002:169). He also addresses that this gangsta rap was ‘bass-heavier than before (jeep beats)’ and ‘harder to dance to’. This is very important to note since hip-hop was such a coveted dance genre in the Netherlands. Another essential reason for this Dutch isolation is that ‘Amsterdam has historically a far lower rate of crime than most American cities’ (Krims, 2002:174). This low rate is attributed to Holland’s socially progressive welfares, such as more medical care coverage, taking action to housing the homeless and supportive employment insurance. Krims also notes, in a highly relevant statement, that ‘Holland does not suffer the same cultural pathologies surrounding firearms for which the US is famous — Amsterdam does not provide an objective landscape favorable to representations of gangstas’ (2002:174).

It is at this point where Dutch hip-hop makes a very notable shift and more rappers in the Netherlands began to rap in Dutch instead of English. In 1998, rapper Extince is spitting rhymes in Dutch, in what is considered to be the point where a Dutch rapper has legitimate flow in lyrics and style, setting him apart from the other artists rapping in Dutch. Dutch rap is beginning to carve out its own identity separate from the internationalized American genre.

Hip-hop diversity and Low End Theory

Underground hip-hop in Los Angeles manifests itself on one night each week: Wednesday nights in Lincoln Heights at the Airliner, or Low End Theory. The name is taken from the renowned A Tribe Called Quest album and transformed into a scene, replete with LA kids ranging in age from 18 to 30. It is known as the place to meet up with friends, casually chat with the artists, and listen to all variations of hip-hop. Well-known artists like Flying Lotus, Gaslamp Killer, Nosaj Thing, and Daedelus have made names for themselves at Low End and remain loyal to the venue as a platform for potential talent.

The club was founded in 2006 by Daddy Kev, a producer and regular Low End performer. It is widely known as an extremely prominent tool in the integration of hip-hop with instrumental beat music. The club night is a remarkable meeting point of old-school Los Angeles hip-hop, instrumental jazz and electronic instrumentals layering through. Budding rappers are welcome to take the microphone and freestyle over the DJ’s beats, with a blissful audience cheering them on and watching the video jockey’s colorful and corresponding visuals. In Ariella’s late teens, she spent a weekend in the same house as video jockeys Strangeloop and Timeboy. The boys would blast hip-hop and beat music, formulating visuals to perfectly align with the music. This is a prime example of the all-encompassing power of Low End and how hard all of its players work to create an experience for the audience. The music and the visuals come hand in hand and the resident VJs are becoming as famous as the DJs. Presently, visitors of Low End will never have to pay more than 10 dollars to see Thom Yorke, Erykah Badu, and recently Q-Tip.

Low End Theory is one of the only scenes in Los Angeles where its patrons can actually hear hip-hop in its rawest form, with beats that could only have been made in a bedroom. They are witness to its conception and growth, welcomed and encouraged to interact with the music. Its audience holds people from every corner of Los Angeles, along with one known Minnesotan. Adam Stanzak is a native of Minnesota, but flew out to Los Angeles after high school to pursue a career in film. He has immersed himself into LA’s hip-hop scene and has a plethora of knowledge about its inner workings because he is a player himself. Adam has photographed the likes of Snoop Dogg, Vic Mensa, Danny Brown, and his friend Sahtyre. When asked about what makes hip-hop in Los Angeles unique, he responded:

‘There are multiple platforms for rappers, producers and anyone else involved, to step up and showcase their work. Regarding production – electronic, funk, and jazz roots can be commonly found. With lyrics, I feel LA rappers have more of a rhythmic and melodic delivery than other parts of the world. Like any career choice in LA (or any big city), rappers need a lot more than talent to make it. The recipe for success is a combination of drive, skills, the right network that can help an artist find the proper platform (shows, other opportunities for exposure), hard work, consistency, a ‘unique’ image that sets him/her apart, and an incredible amount of behind the scenes grinding and strategizing.’

When asked about his own personal ties to hip-hop, Adam cited the diversity of content and emotion of the genre:

‘Whether I wanna learn some crazy political shit, play something chill to light up to, hear crazy talented lyricism and beats, or just get hyphy to with the homies, hip-hop is a multi-dimensional genre and culture. It makes me feel alive, conscious and human.’

When asked what he considers to be the typical scene of a Los Angeles hip-hop show, Adam addressed the impact of the vastness of the Los Angeles environment:

‘It really varies what part of town you’re in. LA is so big and diverse, there are so many subdivisions of hip-hop and shows. You can be in Leimert Park in south central at Bananas and see underground rappers rock next to hipster bands, or you can be downtown at a Schoolboy Q show and see the whole TDE roster next to the Staples Center. Wednesdays you could be at Low End Theory and hear a more electronic beat driven show, or in Inglewood at a spoken word/open mic showcase. It’s hard to say typical scene because the scene varies all over the city. The elements that probably appear in hip-hop scenes all over the world, but are guaranteed to be present at any LA hip-hop show: freestyle cypher, herbs and drink and rappers trying to sell their CDs (that aren’t on the bill that night, but just showed up to slang their music.’

Adam’s description of Los Angeles hip-hop highlights the diversity and sheer mass of the scene. Hip-hop is so big in Los Angeles that it is possible to find a genre, style, and vibe that matches up with most any personality or preference. This could be a huge reason why hip-hop is so popular in Los Angeles. Adam’s thoughts lined up perfectly with our own experiences in Los Angeles. The diversity of hip-hop in Los Angeles lets it speak to anyone—and anyone can find inspiration and life in the beats and the lyrics. Halfway across the world, in Amsterdam, the hip-hop scene is very different. Lacking the size and diversity of the Los Angeles scene, Amsterdam was a very interesting place to observe the development of hip-hop in an environment that is not as conducive as Los Angeles.

Cafe De Duivel, authenticity, and making it big

It was clear to us that we needed to start our research in the most prominent and historical hip-hop bar in Amsterdam—Cafe de Duivel, or the Duivel. The Duivel is a place with some serious history that has both angered and empowered the hip-hop community in Amsterdam. A 22 year-old establishment, the Duivel was the only place playing hip-hop back in the 1990s when it couldn’t be found on the radio or on television in the Netherlands. Also contributing to the underground nature of hip-hop, and thus the Duivel, was the ‘not-so-great image’ that surrounded the hip-hop scene in the 1990s (Duivel website). The Duivel quickly became a hot spot for hip-hop, funk, and soul music lovers in Amsterdam.

Ariella and Andrew - Illustration1
Cafe De Duivel interior (source: Cafe De Duivel Facebook page)

According to the bar’s website, and our conversations, the Duivel has a ‘society of its own’. Over the years, Cafe de Duivel has managed to keep that raw, underground feeling that it’s had since its humble beginnings. Despite the growth of hip-hop worldwide, the Duivel has maintained a community in which many members reject the mainstream. An informal conversation with one Duivel bartender, who also DJ’s at the Duivel, addressed this when he flatly stated,

‘We don’t play any new hip-hop, and we don’t like pop hip-hop. We mostly stick to old-school hip-hop. New hip-hop is terrible, it really has no meaning.’

The patrons of the Duivel mostly agreed on the importance of authenticity and uniqueness to the community. Having said that, our research subjects couldn’t all agree on what this authenticity consisted of, and what it meant. As a genre formed in America and spread from America, it was interesting to see how our research subjects felt about American hip-hop versus Dutch hip-hop, and what it meant to them to ‘keep it real’.

The notion of authenticity in hip-hop is complicated. As Pennycook points out, there is a constant tension between the global spread of hip-hop and ‘being true to the local, of telling it like it is, and the constant pull towards localization’ (2007:112). In addition, Pennycook asserts that ‘the ideology of keepin’ it real is a discursively and culturally mediated mode of representing and producing the local’ (2007:112). One respondent, a white Dutch male in his 20s, who said he was a regular, illustrated that tension when he told us,

Dutch hip-hop is more about making a statement and pain. A lot of American hip-hop isn’t very lyrical’.

To him, Dutch hip-hop was more authentic because it represented something he could identify with—struggle and pain in Amsterdam. For others, however, American hip-hop could be just as authentic to them as Dutch hip-hop. As Pennycook writes, ‘Using the English language to rap is not always engaging in exocentric cultural and ideological practices, and using local languages isn’t always about tradition and culture’ (2007:112). Coco, an immigrant from Ghana who lives in Amsterdam, cited lyrical American rappers such as Jay-Z, Tupac Shakur, and the Notorious B.I.G. as among his favorites. This conflicted with the notion that American hip-hop doesn’t have any authenticity or lyrical value to Amsterdam hip-hop fans. Another man, named Rhino, described the importance of pain in hip-hop by comparing it to other genres, saying,

‘Rock n’ roll is drugs, soul is love, and hip-hop is struggle. Hip-hop is about emotion, and not money. Real hip-hop comes when music is made because they love it not for the money.’

Indeed, our research participants addressed the tension between opposite goals that permeate most of hip-hop–making it big, or getting rich and famous, versus keeping it real, or staying authentic and localized in music production. We could find no consensus on which end of that spectrum is most identifiable in Amsterdam. Alex Pope conveyed the complexity of this tension when he told us:

‘It’s very difficult because you’re never going to find an absolute truth. I may say that it’s all about integrity, but the guy down the street might say that he’s trying to get that paper. Many rappers might say I tried to keep it real for 10 years, and they played me. I had one hit and I’m the man all the sudden, even if I’m not really feeling the song myself. Every artist wants to live off of what they’re doing, that’s the ultimate goal.’

While Rhino, the young man from Cafe de Duivel, thought that hip-hop was about the emotion and not the money, other hip-hop fans that we spoke to had no problem with rappers that try to make it big through their music. Coco told us that he loved American hip-hop in large part because the rappers were so famous, and everybody knew their music. To him, that was an authentic goal for music–to reach and relate to as many people as possible around the world.

Agency through conflictSaving the Duivel

Although Cafe de Duivel was well-known and loved by its patrons, the ‘not-so-great image’ that had followed hip-hop since the beginning was brought to the forefront in December of 2011 after a shootout outside the bar in which two people were wounded. After the incident, the Duivel was forced to shut-down by the city mayor, and a months-long fight ensued between the owner of Cafe de Duivel, Daniel Eeuwens, and the city police. Following its forced closure, hundreds of hip-hop fans and Duivel regulars protested the decision, which they felt was unjust because the shooting was a personal conflict that had nothing to do with the Duivel as an establishment. In fact, the decision to shut the bar down seemed outright racist to many when the police accused the Duivel of playing gangsta rap, which ‘attracts a certain crowd’. Through our own observations, it became clear quickly that the racial make-up of the crowd at The Duivel consisted largely of racial-minorities. One night, we observed 16 Black people, and 6 Caucasians. To members of the community at Cafe de Duivel, this reaction from the police and the city demonstrated the false negative connotations around both hip-hop as a genre, and the race of the people listening to it. As Amsterdam hip-hop blogger Masta Lee wrote on his page:

‘Negativity does not just come from Hip-hop, it comes from mainstream media and society as well. If you agree that society in general and a lack of respect for people is what causes problems, you may not need convincing that Hip-hop has created a culture that also encourages unity and intellectual thoughts. A unique place like Cafe De Duivel shows that it is a great unifier of diverse populations, it mends ethnic relations and unifies individuals across a rich spectrum through collective enjoyment. If you have ever visited De Duivel sometime in its 20 years of existence, you will most likely concur…’ (Patta blog)

The threat of closure due to such an unjust reason inspired the hip-hop community to communicate the positivity and togetherness that hip-hop represented to them, rather than the violence, cruelty, and sexism of certain lyrics in ‘gangster rap’. Indeed, the fight against this perceived racism was passionate, as hundreds of letters, articles, and videos appeared supporting the Duivel and its community. After a months-long closure, Cafe de Duivel was finally reopened. As Masta Lee implied, the Duivel represents a complex, multi-cultural, translocal community. A Duivel bartender concurred when he said,

‘Anyone who knows anything about hip-hop knows that there’s more to it than any one style. We’re influenced by soul, funk, jazz, and blues.’

And since there are few, if any, other true hip-hop establishments in the city, it is clear that people feel a strong personal connection to the place. In the fight to keep the Duivel open, the hip-hop community acted as social agents, determined to use their voices to change perceptions about hip-hop and to reclaim an important piece of their community.

Conclusion

The origins of hip-hop are borne from a diversion from the norm. This age old rebellion can be found from generation to generation and the genre transforms based on localized factors. Whether it is found in Amsterdam or Los Angeles, youths are interacting with hip-hop and adopting it as a lifestyle. They gravitate toward hubs where they can groove to the beats with other hip-hop lovers and everyone comes together to appreciate its dopeness. One thing that our research subjects in both Los Angeles and Amsterdam agreed upon was the diversity of the genre. There is a reason that hip-hop is one of the most globalized genres in music: the diversity enables people with different values and from different social contexts to connect and relate. It is a genre that brings people together and encourages all sorts of meaningful connections. It has the power to afford a listener completely different experiences, like when one is grooving to the genre while tagging alone or listening in a room full of people. It also appeals to many since the genre is so broad and ranges from sole instrumentals to heavy boom bap rap.

The comparison of the localization of hip-hop in Amsterdam and Los Angeles was admittedly difficult, being that the environments are so different. Los Angeles is an absolutely massive city with a mish-mosh of different cultures, ethnicities, styles, and values within the hip-hop community. It is nearly impossible to assign its power to a few factors since it can be experienced in a multitude of fashions, like in the car or at Low End Theory. Hip-hop was also partly born in Los Angeles, and those roots make hip-hop a much more popular genre there. Amsterdam also has its own hip-hop roots and history, but not nearly to the extent of Los Angeles. Amsterdam is also a much smaller city. Prior to conducting research, we were under the impression that Los Angeles would be a hub of more ‘authentic’ hip-hop and its players would feel a far deeper connection with it. Since hip-hop did not originate in Amsterdam, we were sure that the hip-hop conceived in the city could not possibly hold the same ‘realness’ as Los Angeles.

Despite those inherent differences, we were able to discover some similarities in the way that people involved in hip-hop in both cities valued authenticity. Research participants in both places cited detailed lyricism as a key element to authenticity. People from Los Angeles feel the same connection when listening to rap in English as do people from Amsterdam when listening to rap in Dutch. It did seem, however, that it was more possible to make it big and keep an element of authenticity in Los Angeles as opposed to Amsterdam. Since it is a bigger city, they have a larger platform to deliver their rhymes to an audience. While Adam, from Los Angeles, thought that rappers need a combination of skills, luck, and drive, Alex Pope from Amsterdam had a different perspective:

‘In the Netherlands, it seems like if you want to have a hit, or any kind of commercial success, it seems like rappers have to make music where they don’t really feel themselves. And that’s like the true sell-out. Some of the most technically gifted rappers in Amsterdam, they work in a coffeeshop. There’s not a guy like Kendrick Lamar, whose music isn’t soft or sweetened yet still finds commercial success. It seems like that would be damn-near impossible to happen in the Netherlands.’

For hip-hop in Amsterdam to reach that level, where rappers can remain authentic and make it big without selling out, the scene needs to continue to mature and develop. In Los Angeles, the prominence and popularity of hip-hop has allowed certain rappers to navigate that complicated tension. It is essential to keep in mind that hip-hop is so much more than a musical genre. It’s a scene, a style of dancing, a style of dressing, a manner of speaking, a method of connecting to like-minded listeners, a channel of expression, and a way of life. This can be seen in nearly every culture that interacts with it. The people that listen to it and love it experience a deep connection with the music, which is a universal phenomenon.

(Written for Youth Cultures in a Transnational Context)

References

Alim, H. Samy (2009). Translocal style communities: Hip-hop youth as cultural theorists of style, language, and globalization. Pragmatics, 19(1): 103-127.

Bucholtz, Mary (2002). Youth and cultural practice’. Annual Review of Anthropology, 31: 525-552.

Krims, Adam (2002). Rap, race, the “local”, and urban geography in Amsterdam. Critical Studies: Music Popular Culture Identities: 165-179.

Pennycook, Alastair (2007). Language, localization, and the real: Hip-Hop and the global spread of authenticity, Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 6(2):101-115.

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