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Provincial Headz

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Provincial Headz: British Hip Hop and Critical Regionalism draws upon spatial practice, material culture, human geography, musicology and cultural theory in order to present an interdisciplinary counter-narrative to that of Hip Hop as a strictly urban phenomenon; providing insight into the relocation of Hip Hop culture from its inception in New York ghettos to its practices in provincial and rural Britain. Hip Hop culture truly arrived in Britain in 1983, a decade after its origin in New York City, and although many important events, artists and recordings that evidence Hip Hop’s existence in 1980s Britain are well documented, these are almost exclusively urban. Additionally, the narratives embedded in these representations remain too convenient and unchallenged. This book reveals parallel and dialectical experiences of British Hip Hop pioneers and practitioners dwelling outside the metropolis, discussed under the recurring themes of relocation, territory, consumption, production and identity. These narratives are framed within a rich contextual discourse drawing upon the theories of Bhabha, Lefebvre, Bourdieu, Ricœur, Foucault, and DeLanda among others. Projecting the focus of Hip Hop theory forward from urbanism to rurality, the book uncovers and challenges the conventions of a Hip Hop state of mind and how we understand it.

Published: Feb 1, 2020


Section Chapter Authors
Glossary of Terms Adam de Paor-Evans
Chapter 1
Introduction Adam de Paor-Evans
Chapter 2
Location Adam de Paor-Evans
Chapter 3
Relocation Adam de Paor-Evans
Chapter 4
Territory Adam de Paor-Evans
Chapter 5
Consumption Adam de Paor-Evans
Chapter 6
Production Adam de Paor-Evans
Chapter 7
Identity Adam de Paor-Evans
Chapter 8
Conclusion Adam de Paor-Evans
Appendix Adam de Paor-Evans


We all know about hip-hop's urban origins, but how much do we know about hip-hop's reach into more rural regions of the world? Adam de Paor-Evans has provided us with an academic framework with which to do so--part (auto)ethnographic, part critical theory, he weaves an engaging story of bedroom graffiti, pause-button mixtapes and crew rivalries in 1980s provincial Britain. This book show us how far, and how early on, the sounds and materials of hip-hop cultures reached the other side of the Atlantic, and the idiosyncratic nature of those flows in particular. It's a must read for any UK hip-hop fan and for those looking to apply fresh ideas to their own studies of regional hip-hop.
Justin A. Williams, Department of Music, University of Bristol and author of Rhymin and Stealin: Musical Borrowing in Hip-hop

Whilst the story of hip hop's development in the big cities (particularly the U.S.A.) has been widely documented, its growth and osmosis into the fabric of those communities beyond has, until now, been seldom covered. ‘Provincial Headz’ provides a comprehensive study of how rural and other non-urban centres interpreted the culture and made it their own. Through personal accounts and a wealth of source material, Adam de Paor Evans challenges the assumption that hip hop is solely an urban culture, contrasting, comparing and making crucial links between the settings. This book is a breath of fresh air in its approach, and a very welcome addition to the existing literature on hip hop’s development.
Dudley Jaynes (Whirlwind D), writer for Record Collector Magazine and recording artist for B-Line Recordings