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HUM 396: Prof. Spiegel: Topic Overviews

Roots, Rap & Reggae

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Slave Trade (Encyclopedia of American Environmental History)

Slavery has long had a profound interaction with North American environments. In the transatlantic slave trade, primarily African people were transported to colonies and then nations in the Americas, between the 16th and 19th centuries...Read More.

Jamaican Maroons (Gale Library of Daily Life: Slavery in America)

Maroons became especially prominent in Jamaica. When the English took the island from Spain in 1655, the Spanish relocated to Cuba. Many of their African slaves, however, had either run away or were left behind...Read More.

Maroon Communities: Were Maroon Communities an Effective Means of Resistance to Slavery? (History in Dispute)

Para 5: By the early seventeenth century, for example, Jamaican maroons had established extensive settlements in the mountains of the eastern and western portions of the island, which the Spanish tried for years unsuccessfully to destroy...Read More.

Marcus Garvey ( Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History)

Marcus Mosiah Garvey was the founder and leader of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), the largest organized mass movement in black history. Hailed in his own time as a redeemer, a "black Moses,"...Read More.

Rastafarianism (Encyclopedia of Religion)

RASTAFARIANISM. Rastafari (the preferred name for Rastafarianism) was once categorized simply as a syncretic Afro-Caribbean religio-political cult. The reality is much more complex. It might be meaningfully described as a Jamaica...Read More.

Reggae ( St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture)

Reggae is a broad term encompassing a related variety of musical styles that emerged from the island nation of Jamaica after 1960. These styles include ska, rock steady, reggae, and dance-hall, all of which swept Jamaican music in.... Read More.

Reggae ( Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History)

Reggae is a late twentieth-century black musical phenomenon that draws deeply from Afro-Jamaican religious, dance, and musical practices while positing a distinctive series of meanings and representations about slavery, colonialism, history, and ...Read More.

Bob Marley (St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture)

One of the most important and charismatic champions of human freedoms in the 1970s, Bob Marley emerged from humble beginnings and an early life of austere poverty in his native Jamaica to bring reggae music to international...Read More.

Dub (Contemporary Musicians)

In the late 1960s U-Roy helped start the dub revolution, rapping over “versions” of popular songs remixed by dub pioneer King Tubby. This style, known as “toasting,” would later influence both Jamaican dance-hall music and American hip-...Read More.

Dancehall (Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History)

The musical style known as "dancehall" derives its name from the Jamaican dance hall, a cultural institution that has historically nurtured all major genres of that country's recorded popular music. While dancehall first emerged in the late 1970s...Read More.

DJing (St. James Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Culture)

One of the four major elements of the hip hop culture is DJing (or deejaying), along with MCing or rapping, Bboying/B-girling or breakdancing, and graffiti. However, the practice of DJing and the figure of the DJ existed before hip hop formed as a...Read More.

The Northeast: Rap & Hip Hop (St. James Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Culture

The birthplace of rap music and hip hop culture is undoubtedly the Northeast of the United States. Although hip hop originated in New York, nearby states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island,...Read More.

Rap and Hip-Hop (Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell-Bottoms: Pop Culture of 20th-Century America)

Rap and hip-hop culture emerged out of the street-gang culture of poor black youths in the Bronx, New York, in the 1970s. Hip-hop culture and its signature music, rap, have grown in less than thirty years to be a major...Read More.

Hip-Hop (Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History)

Hip-hop, in its most contemporary and uniform manifestation, emerged in 1973. Though various elements of hiphop culture—both culturally and aesthetically—are found in African culture, the Harlem Renaissance, and the black arts movement ..Read More.

Gangsta Rap (St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture)

The subgenre of gangsta rap gets its name from the gangster lifestyle of street hustlers, pimps, players, and other career criminals. Gangsta rap songs contain gritty tales of street life such as those found in books by Donald Goines (1936–1974)...Read More.

L.A. & Gangsta Rap (St. James Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Culture)

Hip hop is a complex cultural phenomenon that was created by black and Latin American youths from marginalized inner-city communities. The four elements of hip hop—DJing, MCing, breakdancing (or breaking), and graffiti writing...Read More.

Rap (St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture)

Rap is a genre of music (directly related to hip-hop) that emerged in 1970s New York City; both forms are derived from early African and Jamaican poetry. The term rap stems from hip-hop emcees, called rappers, who sang rhyming... Read More.

Reggaeton ( St. James Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Culture)

Reggaeton is a predominantly Spanish-language music genre closely associated with Puerto Rico. It is popular throughout Latin America and the United States. With formal musical roots in Panama, Jamaica, and New York City, it can also ...  Read More.

“P.S.K. (What Does It Mean?)” (St. James Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Culture)

In 1985 Philadelphia rapper Schoolly D (Jesse Bonds Weaver Jr., 1962–) recorded and released “P.S.K. (WhatDoes It Mean?).” With its gritty and graphic lyrics about violence, sex, and drugs, the song is considered one of the earliest examples ... Read more.

Graffiti (St. James Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Culture)

The word graffiti typically refers to drawings or writings that have been inscribed or painted on a surface, generally in a public place and often illegally. Graffiti is traditionally identified as one of the four principal elements of hip hop culture,...  Read more.