Updates from the team

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 imposed by COVID-19 (March to December 2020).

Illustration by Juan Pablo Machado

The first post explains how the research was undertaken and examines changes that directly address the pandemic. It goes on to discuss a trend of studying and working: lo-fi’s large student audience often comment about their studying habits during this period (a relatively common thing to post about even before COVID-19!).

The second post reflects on lofi hip-hop as a genre then details additional results: themes of identity, aesthetic, cultural references, conversational aspects, and emotional expression.

Steve would be glad to hear feedback on this work-in-progress. Stay tuned into the Digital Flows project!

Hip Hop Interpellation: Rethinking Autochthony and Appropriation in Irish Rap

Griff has published a new chapter in Made in Ireland (Routledge, 2020) edited by Áine Mangaoang, John O’Flynn, Lonán Ó Briain. In it, he tells a history of hip hop in Ireland and posits the “hip hop interpolation” thesis: the ways that this irreducibly Black American art form has been appropriated globally and the ways that “entrenched oral traditions of storytelling and poetry stretching back thousands of years have incorporated hip hop into their cultures” (Pennycook and Mitchell 2009).

Global Hip Hop Studies Issue 1

We’re delighted to announce the inaugural issue of the CIPHER-associated journal Global Hip Hop Studies, published by Intellect Books (UK). Here’s the lowdown on the journal:

Global Hip Hop Studies (GHHS) is a peer-reviewed, rigorous and community-responsive academic journal that publishes research on contemporary as well as historical issues and debates surrounding hip hop music and culture around the world, twice annually.

Intellect Books, courtesy of Marc Canonizado (@gfbsshaveparlor, Instagram) and Garrett Tartt (@findyourplayground, Instagram)

We’re grateful to all our scholars, artists, and editors for their amazing contributions. The first issue is completely free to read and download.

Ya boy! RTÉ News Segment

Here’s an early report on the CIPHER project conducted by Ireland’s public broadcast service RTÉ News. Griff and Cork artist Spekulativ Fiktion briefly describe how CIPHER got off the ground and plans for the future: