CfP: Special Issue of Global Hip Hop Studies Journal:
“Knowledge Reigns Supreme”: The Fifth Element in Hip Hop Culture (2022)
Co-edited by Justin A. Williams, Sina A. Nitzsche, and Darren Chetty
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 that surround hip hop music and culture around the world.
The Special Issue
Deejaying. Emceeing. Breaking. Graffiti. These are commonly considered hip hop’s four core elements. While hip hop contains multiple elements beyond its core, many hip hop artists, activists, and fans worldwide understand and recognize a ‘fifth element’ as knowledge. This naming practice shows us how hip hop communities understand the importance of the history, values, and artistry of the culture beyond their own temporal-spatial borders. With roots in the Universal Zulu Nation in the 1970s (Chang 2005), hip hop’s fifth element includes aims of self-realization (‘knowledge of self’), empowerment, and information about the history of the genre and its key practitioners (Gosa 2015; Alim, Haupt, Williams 2018).
This special issue of Global Hip Hop Studies thus addresses questions about the role of knowledge in global hip hop culture: How is it mediated across other elements, social groups, and cultural borders? How is knowledge passed on from one hip hop generation to another? What is the role of hip hop knowledge in educational institutions around the globe and how can it be used for the benefit of artists and the community? What can we as researchers, activists, and artists learn from knowledge practices in global hip hop culture?
We invite contributions from a variety of disciplines, including musicology, pedagogy, cultural studies, ethnomusicology, visual studies, media studies, history, sociology, and other relevant fields. We are particularly keen to bring artists and scholars together to co-produce new methods for hip hop education while welcoming a wide range of perspectives and definitions around the intentionally-broad concept of hip hop’s fifth element.