Life is just a game/art at Vermont farm

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Hip-Hop and Colonialism: Recognition and Response  Talking point #7

Dr. Ball's four piece series on Hip-Hop focused on colonialsim in its relation economically to the repression of the Hip-Hop genre and its dominance by the strongly dominant music industry.  Dr Ball states that his point is that we must be not be "as concerned with the prevailing wisdoms contained in popular Hip-Hop journalism or the media reform that often describes  a struggle for power withinn a colony", so much as recognizing the colinization of the industry by the economic powers of the world, sepecially the media giants of the USA.
Hip-Hop's origin in the 1970s was based on expressing post civil rights era social issues and where disenfranchized young Black men found themselves. Hip-Hop offered a way with dealing with the this part of societies hardships through this music art form and subdued the violence that was strongly brewing while giving  a voice to the voiceless.  Organizers from around the world used Hip-Hop in their communities to address environmental justice, police and prisons, media justice and education. Global communities used this media for local activism.  This progressive agenda challenged the status quo. Then entered consumersim. Dr. Ball is exposing the economic powers that control or colonize these artists and their message.

I would like to hear what he has to say about the negative side of Rap/Hip-Hops rich little sister, Gangsta Rap. How does Hip-Hop identify with this violent, mysogynous and commercial sellout? I also would like him to address Hip-Hops role in pan-Africanism as he sees it and how this music form could have/did (?) make this movenent more powerful.  


  1. It was good to read about Dr. Ball's stand on Hip-Hop and the colonialism that he feels has dominance over it. Mary, I am impressed with your knowledge of Gangsta Rap. I need to look her up. It is unfortunate that some of the lyrics are violent.

  2. Thoughtful post, Mary.
    Perhaps Ball would have some of the following thoughts to your questions on hip-hop's 'rich little sister...'
    Hip-hop that focuses on misogyny, drug culture, violence and gangs contributes to the myth of Black America. It teaches both Black America and America at-large what Blackness requires: toughness, violence, and poverty above all else. These identities as produced by by the media elite help perpetuate the colony by establishing the role of Black America as under the thumb of their colonizers.

    I appreciate you using the word 'economically' - the heart of what Ball is talking about has to do with power and money - but he never actually uses the word economic. It's interesting the words Ball didn't use...'post-colonialism' in particular!

  3. I really enjoyed your post, especially the insight of the origins of hip-hop. I think it's really powerful to think about where the movement begun in comparison to where the executives and labels have directed it.