Articles, Emancipatory Journalism, Hip-Hop, iMWiL!, Media Criticism, mixtape journalism

In Defense and Appreciation of the Rap Music Mixtape as “National” and “Dissident” Communication

Jared A. Ball

The rap music mixtape is hip hop’s original mass medium. Yet, despite its importance historically and its current relevance within hip hop, the mixtape remains one of the more overlooked aspects of the world’s most popular cultural expression. Similarly, the interdisciplinary approach applied here—seeking to place the mixtape within a broader international anti-colonial struggle and also to examine the mixtape as a “national” mass medium developing within a colonized “hip-hop nation,”—is also an underappreciated and potentially fruitful approach to the mixtape and communication as examples that help to expose those colonial relationships. By taking popular, but rarely explored concepts of hip hop as a “nation” and applying theories of internal colonialism, the mixtape’s history and current position assume different meanings.

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