HHAP Episode 29: Ghanaian Hip Hop Scholar Joseph Ewoodzie on Hip Hop in the South Bronx

Ghana born, Bronx raised hip hop scholar Joseph Ewoodzie has published the book Break Beats in the Bronx: Rediscovering Hip-Hop’s Early Years, a book that uncovers details of hip hop’s early years in the South Bronx. Ewoodzie’s book provides rich details of hip hop’s history in the South Bronx. In this interview he discusses his decision to write the book and touches on some of the major themes the book addresses. For example, Ewoodzie talks about the social economic environment in the South Bronx that gave rise to hip hop, environments that mirrored the environments that gave rise to hip hop in Africa.

In the interview we also cover the book’s

  • Discussion of the link between gang culture and hip hop
  • The controversies around Afrika Bambaataa
  • The rise and decline of the visibility of the DJ in mainstream hip hop
  • The connection between hip hop culture and Africa’s oral tradition
  • The connections between music in Africa and the Diaspora
  • South Bronx Ghanaian immigrants in the development of hip hop
  • The origins of the masculinization of hip hop

The book can be purchased at: uncpress.org/book/9781469632759/break-beats-in-the-bronx

Joseph Ewoodzie can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/piko_e

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