The International Council for Hip Hop Studies

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Updates from the CIPHER

How Music Empowers: Listening to Modern Rap and Metal

How Music Empowers, a new book by CIPHER team member Dr. Steven Gamble, is impactful and important for hip hop audiences, especially people who are into contemporary rap. Artists like Little Simz, Drake, Missy Elliott, Brockhampton, and Chance the Rapper are discussed. Great reading for anyone excited by how the listening process works, and how music affects emotions, alters behaviour, and incites action.

Lo-fi hip-hop during COVID-19

There's a two-part blog post now up at our associated project Digital Flows, looking at online hip-hop. In these posts Steve uses a comment scraping method to analyse how lo-fi commentary has changed – and how it hasn't – during the quarantine/lockdown measures...

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Gems from the CIPHER

Alienness (MZK) – The Bronxstyle

Alienness (MZK) – The Bronxstyle

Bboy Alienness refocused a generation through this seminal dance text of the 2000s. Inspiring a new old school, Alienness pushed the emphasis from power moves back to movement with feeling and groove: "I can teach a chihuahua to stand on one hand but I can't teach...

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Little Simz – ‘Boss’

Little Simz – ‘Boss’

In 'Boss', Simz describes her rise to the top and asserts herself as a formidable artist in a predominantly male sphere. Inverting the masculinist language of the song title, she issues a warning shot: "I'm a boss in a fucking dress"...

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Spekulativ Fiktion – ‘Google’

Spekulativ Fiktion – ‘Google’

Spek details the Local Geological Record that tracks the first animal to walk on land (and it's in Ireland, where CIPHER is based!). Dropping some intensely local knowledge, he highlights the importance of heritage: "its feckin’ timeless, like the Tetrapod Footprints...

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