Dr. Chris Tinson, Rosa Clemente, Mariama White-Hammond and Jared Ball participated at this year’s (2011) National Conference for Media Reform held in Boston, MA. and looked to expand and promote this concept of “hip-hop radicalism.” Our panel probed the political state and direction of hip-hop where the panelists spoke of their current work in articulating new perspectives on hip-hop culture, organizing and scholarship relative to black and brown communities around the nation and world. The panel attempted to highlight the dire state of hip-hop politics and economics with regard to political struggle, and provide tangible ideas for building a politics that incorporates and embraces radical political histories, GLBTQ communities, consistent critique of the prison-industrial complex, and the politics of media justice. We also challenged some conventional notions of hip-hop’s death, the erasure of radical politics and the white left’s continuing struggle with majority people’s inclusion/centering within their media work and conferences. We even had to ask why there was an apparent need for the conference to change the title of the panel which appeared in their conference materialsas “Beyond the Beats: New Perspectives in Hip-Hop Culture.”
* This panel took place April 9, 2011 (2-4p EST).