Student Showcase: And It Don’t Stop—Hip Hop’s Place in the Evolving History of the Folk Revival

christian reyes considers the rise of hip hop and remix culture within the larger context of the folk revival process.

Professor Kramer’s comments:

Christian Reyes creatively applies concepts of folk revivalism, cultural heritage, and vernacular music to the story of hip hop’s rise in the 1970s. How, he asks, can we better understand hip hop’s remix aesthetic, ethic, and politics if we think about it as part of a larger folk revival movement?

Starting with Grandmaster Flash’s appearance at the National Folk Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina in 2016 and working back from there, Christian creates new lines of connection and inquiry—and of course raises many new questions—about how we understand both hip hop and folk music. Once we step outside of sonic or genre definitions of music, the process of musical making and remaking, mixing and remixing, moves to the fore—and it starts to shift our perceptions of how the cultural past is always scratching at the doorway into the present and future.

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