hip-hop in jamaica paper

on sunday, october 5, i delivered a paper based on my fieldwork in jamaica at the annual meeting of the society for ethnomusicology, which took place this year in miami. the paper traces the general contours of my dissertation--at least the side that looks at jamaica (the side that looks at the US will have to wait for another paper). i attempt to make these broader concerns more salient and interesting by telling a specific story. the paper, "hip-hop in jamaica: representing the local through international sound," focuses on my collaboration with rashorn foster of the twelve tribes of israel. "in di dance," the song that we created together, encapsulates many of the tensions and paradoxes that hip-hop presents to young jamaicans today. i do my best to tease these tensions out, arguing on the one hand that rashorn's adoption of hip-hop's styles is consistent with his understanding of what it means to be a jamaican and a rastafarian, and on the other hand, that the particular symbols he selects from hip-hop could be seen as problematic from various vantage points.

this paper represents a work in progress, ideas in formation. i am definitely interested in feedback--especially of the constructive sort. please direct any questions or comments to wayne@wayneandwax.com.