Reviewed: Close to the Edge: In Search of the Global Hip Hop Generation, By Sujatha Fernandes (New York: Verso, 2011)
Through a journey spanning Sydney, Havana, Caracas and Chicago, sociologist and author Sujatha Fernandes explores the narrations of hip hop culture across the globe in her new book,Close to the Edge: In Search of the Global Hip Hop Generation. This search for international solidarity seems both possible and elusive. Despite its global impact, hip hop also remains isolated within experience and the definition of experience, through history, identity, culture as well as societal and class struggle.
Fernandes commences her search with a foray into the history of hip hop. This includes a look at Afrika Bombaataa, the movement aimed to regenerate itself into a global movement which expounded upon solidarity with black communities and the transformation of song into a language of social consciousness.
The character of hip hop ensures that the message transmission reaches, first and foremost, the community which embraces the artists divulging a collective social commentary. The hip hop movement enabled communities to organize themselves; gaining and imparting knowledge about their immediate environment. The reason for the performance enhanced marketing the music within the community as a unified expression of what needed to be changed. Read more.