Book: Provincial Headz
Chapter: The Relocation of Hip Hop: The Perfect Beat, Duck Rock and Cultural Acquisition
Location then turns to relocation, as chapter 2 discusses in depth the relocation of hip hop by focusing on the catalysts and mechanisms that brought the culture to Britain. These discussions are situated within a broader British cultural context before concentrating on the provincial hip hop experience, which is interrogated to understand how and why hip hop culture exploded in the way it did. In the first section ‘On Relocation’, regionalism and socio-cultural geographies are explored in order to situate two relative positions: the position of hip hop between New York and Britain, and the position of hip hop within Britain between the urban and the non-urban. I use this cultural positioning to begin to frame the question of identity and cultural acquisition. In the section ‘The Perfect Beat’, I explore the first transatlantic exchanges, cultural acquisition and production within hip hop to argue the value of various means of appropriation. In the next section I further this discussion by unpacking the ‘Buffalo Gals’ video and song as product and its relationship with the languages of hip hop, production and consumption, and continue to explore these themes through the album Duck Rock. Throughout this section and drawing on Gadamer and Ricœur’s approach to signs and hermeneutics, the signifiers embodied in Duck Rock are evaluated in order to define the signified, in terms of the commodification of hip hop culture to a British audience. At this point, the artefact-product discussion is deepened as I interpret the Street Sounds Electro series and other hip hop compilation albums specifically designed for a British marketplace, and this section is where I first introduce the idea that a critical regionalism in British hip hop was beginning to develop during the infancy of the culture’s consumption. Finally, I consider this type of artefact-product consumption alongside accounts of early British hip hop practice, theories of mimicry, cultural hybridity and style identity, and construct a contextual schism between hip hop and conventional British life, before defining the preliminary differences between urban and non-urban British hip hop culture.