Asynchronous Blog Post
2. Pick ONE of the following options and respond in the comment section down below. The deadline is 10/28 before the class.
“What makes hip-hop unique among popular musical genres is the way it relates to everyday life. In reflecting on poverty, inequality, exclusion, and discrimination; claiming a positive identity based on these conditions; and offering musical, linguistic, and corporal tools for commenting on them, it transcends the bounded sites where it is practiced and participates in a symbolic network that circulates globally. However, hip-hop is also markedly local, in that lived experience is rearticulated in the contents of rap lyrics, which speak to the daily concerns of its practitioners; and in graffiti and breakdancing, which occupy and resignify the streets and neighborhoods where they are performed. (Page 121)
-Arlene B. Tickner, “Aquí en el Ghetto: Hip Hop in Colombia, Cuba, and Mexico”
Reflecting on the film through this quote from Tickner’s essay, examine how Tomás and his brothers in La Playa D.C. participate from hip hop’s “symbolic networks” in Bogotá, rearticulating practices in their impoverished neighborhood.
*Remember to think about hip hop beyond music and rap lyrics.*
Tickner defines “vernaculization” as “the modes of cultural production [that] are re-inscribed in diverse contexts, where they acquire new meaning. Although a series of underlying themes define hip-hop as a global commodity, the way it is appropriated in different settings are intimately linked to how specific social actors, primarily marginal youth, experience the world and the places they occupy in it.” (Page 122)
Reflecting on the last section of the documentary through this quote from Tickner’s essay, elaborate on the processes of hip hop “vernaculization” in Cuba and how musicians and rappers have been using the genre to expose a critique of institutional notions of racial equality.
Thinking of Hip Hop as a lyrical art, write a reflection poem about your takeaways from La Playa D.C or Black in Latin America: Cuba.
Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about La Playa D.C or Black in Latin America: Cuba, do you want to bring into the discussion?