The Production of Hip Hop: Process, Empowerment and Cultural Repositioning
Adam de Paor-Evans [+]
University of Central Lancashire
In chapter 5, I turn from consumption to production and further the preliminary investigation of the primary forms of practice in the provinces. The aim of this chapter is to chart specific practices and productions of provincial British hip hop music which currently remain undiscussed, and also to evaluate the operations and modes of this production within the emerging cultural hybridity explored in the previous chapter. This discussion takes points of departure from Heidegger’s being-in-the-world, Foucault’s notions of heterotopia and Virilio’s theory of dromology, where I argue that the appropriated technologies, demographic and geographic positioning and limitations of exposure to broader hip hop culture were important conditions that affected the development of provincial hip hop practices. Here I explore several sites and processes of technological, social and cultural production that informed provincial hip hop practice. I then demonstrate the power shifts between conventional establishment structures and the structure of the provincial supercrew, their nodes, networks, practices, processes and outputs. The tangible outputs of recorded products and the more intangible and ephemeral processes of writing and language development, rehearsal, recording and performance. the evolution of regionalist and de-regionalist styles, critique and reflection are of concern here as I anchor a cultural positioning for provincial British hip hop. I also analyze the associated record sleeve designs from 1988-1993 (by urban artists such as Blade, Hijack and Gunshot, the period that is now known historically as the era of ‘britcore’) in comparison with the lo-fi cassette-only productions of the provinces.