Hip-hop culture and rap music are often assumed to be quintessentially American art forms. But by the late 1970s, hip-hop had transcended its roots in the US coasts. In France, artists from the African diaspora experimented with hip-hop, using it as an art form to articulate Blackness at a time when their community had little visibility in public life. Hip-hop became a critical tool for crafting Black visions of representation and resistance.
This intersection of music, culture and politics—ranging from Paris to Los Angeles—is the focus of this episode, which features Dr. Samuel Lamontagne, a scholar of hip-hop and electronic music. Dr. Lamontagne combines his extensive research and personal experience to explain the rich landscape of global hip-hop, and how music became a crossroads for the meeting of transnational Black politics and aesthetics.
Samuel Lamontagne is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow with the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and the Department of History at UCLA. His research focuses on hip-hop and electronic dance music in Los Angeles, and in the African diaspora more generally. A former co-editor-in-chief of Ethnomusicology Review, he has also authored a book on electronic music.