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Complementing a burgeoning area of interest and academic study, Roc the Mic Right explores the central role of language within the Hip Hop Nation (HHN). With its status convincingly argued as the best means by which to read Hip Hop culture, H. Samy Alim then focuses on discursive practices, such as narrative sequencing and ciphers, or lyrical circles of rhymers. Often a marginalized phenomenon, the complexity and creativity of Hip Hop lyrical production is emphasised, whilst Alim works towards the creation of a schema by which to understand its aesthetic.
Using his own ethnographic research, Alim shows how Hip Hop language could be used in an educational context and presents a new approach to the study of the language and culture of the Hip Hop Nation: 'Hiphopography'. The final section of the book, which includes real conversational narratives from Hip Hop artists such as The Wu-Tang Clan and Chuck D, focuses on direct engagement with the language.
A highly accessible and lively work on the most studied and read about language variety in the United States, this book will appeal not only to language and linguistics researchers and students, but holds a genuine appeal to anyone interested in Hip Hop or Black African Language.
H. Samy Alim is a visiting scholar in UCLA's anthropology department and author of You Know My Steez (2004) and co-author of Street Conscious Rap (1999). His research interests include Black Language, global Hip Hop Culture, and the street language, culture, and music of the Muslim world.
Foreword Geneva Smitherman vii
Shout outs x
"The streetz iz a mutha": The street and the formation of a Hip Hop Linguistics (HHLx) 1
Verbal Mujahidin in the Transglobal Hip Hop Umma: Islam, discursive struggle, and the weapons of mass culture 20
"Talkin Black in this White Man's World": Linguistic supremacy, linguistic equanimity, and the politics of language 51
"Bring it to the cypher": Hip Hop Nation Language 69
Spittin the Code of the Streets: The strategic construction of a street-conscious identity 109
"Every syllable of mine is an umbilical cord through time": Toward an analytical schema of Hip Hop poetics 126
"I'm Pharoahe when I'm on stage; I'm Troy when I'm home in Queens": An interview with Pharoahe Monch 155