Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Open Cultural Studies

Editor-in-Chief: Miller, Toby

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2451-3474
See all formats and pricing
More options …

The Futurism of Hip Hop: Space, Electro and Science Fiction in Rap

Adam de Paor-Evans
  • Principal Lecturer in Cultural Theory, Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2018-07-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2018-0012

Abstract

In the early 1980s, an important facet of hip hop culture developed a style of music known as electro-rap, much of which carries narratives linked to science fiction, fantasy and references to arcade games and comic books. The aim of this article is to build a critical inquiry into the cultural and sociopolitical presence of these ideas as drivers for the productions of electro-rap, and subsequently through artists from Newcleus to Strange U seeks to interrogate the value of science fiction from the 1980s to the 2000s, evaluating the validity of science fiction’s place in the future of hip hop. Theoretically underpinned by the emerging theories associated with Afrofuturism and Paul Virilio’s dromosphere and picnolepsy concepts, the article reconsiders time and spatial context as a palimpsest whereby the saturation of digitalisation becomes both accelerator and obstacle and proposes a thirdspace-dromology. In conclusion, the article repositions contemporary hip hop and unearths the realities of science fiction and closes by offering specific directions for both the future within and the future of hip hop culture and its potential impact on future society

Keywords: dromosphere; dromology; Afrofuturism; electro-rap; thirdspace; fantasy; Newcleus; Strange U

References

  • Annas, George J. “The Man on the Moon.” Science Fiction and Philosophy From Time Travel to Superintelligence. Edited by Susan Schneider, Wiley Blackwell, 2016, pp. 245-259.Google Scholar

  • Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Routledge, 2010.Google Scholar

  • De Smedt, Johan and Helen De Cruz. “The Epistemic Value of Speculative Fiction.” Philosophy and Science Fiction, Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Volume No. XXXIX. Edited by Peter A. French and Howard K. Wettstein, Wiley Periodicals Inc., 2015, pp. 58-77.Google Scholar

  • DeLanda, Manuel. A New Philosophy of Society. Bloomsbury, 2013.Google Scholar

  • Deleuze, Giles and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus. Continuum, 2004.Google Scholar

  • Deluiis, David and Jeff Lohr. “Rewriting the Narrative: Communicology and the Speculative Discourse of Afrofuturism.” Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness, edited by Reynaldo Anderson and Charles E. Jones, Lexington Books, 2016, pp. 167-184.Google Scholar

  • Deutsch, David and Michael Lockwood. “The Quantum Physics of Time Travel.” Science Fiction and Philosophy: From Time Travel to Superintelligence. Edited by Susan Schneider, Wiley Blackwell, 2016, pp. 370-383.Google Scholar

  • Katz, David. The Genius of Lee “Scratch” Perry: People Funny Boy. Payback Press, 2000.Google Scholar

  • Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space. Blackwell Publishing, 1991.Google Scholar

  • Mitchell, William J. City of Bits: Space, Place, and the Infobahn. MIT Press, 1995.Google Scholar

  • Mondloch, Katie. “A Symphony of Sensations in the Spectator: Le Corbusier’s Poème Électronique and the Historicization of New Media Arts.” Leonardo, vol. 37, no. 1, 2004, pp. 57-61.Google Scholar

  • Nelson, Alondra. “Introduction: Future Texts.” Social Text vol. 71, no. 20 (2), 2002, pp. 1-15.Google Scholar

  • Rollefson, J. Griffith. “The ‘Robot Voodoo Power’ Thesis: Afrofuturism and Anti-anti-essentialism from Sun Ra to Kool Keith.” Black Music Research Journal, vol. 28, no. 1, 2008, pp. 83-109.Google Scholar

  • Segal, Robert, et al. In Quest of the Hero. Princeton University Press, 1990.Google Scholar

  • Steinskog, Erik. Afrofuturism and Black Sound Studies: Culture, Technology, and Things to Come (Palgrave Studies in Sound). Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.Google Scholar

  • Stüttgen, Tim. In a Qu*A*re Time and Place: Post Slavery Temporalities, Blaxploitation, and Sun Ra’s Afrofuturism between Intersectionality and Heterogeneity. b_books: Berlin, 2014.Google Scholar

  • Summers, Tim. Understanding Video Game Music. Cambridge University Press, 2016.Google Scholar

  • Till, Jeremy. “Thick Time.” Intersections, edited by Iain Borden and Jane Rendell, Routledge, 2000, pp. 156-83.Google Scholar

  • Virilio, Paul. Negative Horizon. Continuum Impacts, 2008. ---. Speed and Politics. Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents, MIT Press, 2006.Google Scholar

  • Womack, Ytasha L. Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-fi and Fantasy Culture. Lawrence Hill Books, 2013.Google Scholar

  • Youngquist, Paul. A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism. University of Texas Press. 2016.Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2018-01-27

Accepted: 2018-06-02

Published Online: 2018-07-25


Citation Information: Open Cultural Studies, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 122–135, ISSN (Online) 2451-3474, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2018-0012.

Export Citation

© 2018 Adam de Paor-Evans, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in