Hip-Hop Diplomacy

Hip-hop is a phenomenon that has captured hearts around the world. Its musical form ranges from party anthems to critical social commentary. But the genre plays another role: it is an influential soft-power tool for the United States. Like its predecessors jazz and rock, hip-hop is utilized by the U.S. State Department to connect with young minds, and its unique ability to inspire goodwill toward the United States offers a significant advantage over adversaries such as China and Russia. How did hip-hop become a go-to diplomatic instrument?

 

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Host
  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Podcast Host and Producer
Episode Guests
  • Toni Blackman
    Alumni Outreach Director, Next Level
  • Mark Katz
    John P. Barker Distinguished Professor of Music and Director of Graduate Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Show Notes

Every country has a hip-hop scene, and, around the world, millions of people cite hip-hop not just as a passion but an identity. The hip-hop movement can be traced back to New York City in the 1970s, and it remains a font for goodwill toward the United States, even as perceptions abroad of U.S. standing have declined in recent years. Today, music and foreign policy experts alike acknowledge that hip-hop can make inroads where other soft-power tools cannot.

 

From Mark Katz

 

Hip-Hop World Diplomacy with Mark Katz,” Hip-Hop Can Save America 

 

Episode 14: Mark Katz On Music And Cultural Diplomacy,” The Institute Podcast

 

From Toni Blackman

 

Rhyme like a Girl: Toni, Polaryss & Sincerity at Restoration Rocks Festival

 

How To Freestyle with Toni Blackman: Lesson 1

 

I Love and Approve (Of Myself)

 

From CFR 

 

Hisham Aidi, “Hip-Hop Diplomacy,” Foreign Affairs

 

Read More

 

Marie Zawisza, “How music is the real language of political diplomacy,” Guardian

 

Lara Jakes, “‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ With a Diplomat’s Road Trip Music,” New York Times

 

Adam Bradley, “In this U.S. government program, diplomacy has a hip-hop beat,” Washington Post

 

Danny Lewis, “When Rock Was Banned in the Soviet Union, Teens Took to Bootlegged Recordings on X-Rays,” Smithsonian Magazine

 

Billy Perrigo, “How the U.S. Used Jazz as a Cold War Secret Weapon,” TIME

 

Watch and Listen 

 

Why Hip Hop is World Culture | Ian Lawrence | TEDxMauerPark,” TEDx Talks

 

The story of X-Ray Audio: What would you risk for the sake of music? | Stephen Coates | TEDxKraków,” TEDx Talks

 

Iraqi Dancers in US on First Hip Hop Diplomacy Tour,” Voice of America

 

Brubeck at 100: Jazz Ambassadors & Cultural Diplomacy,” Jazz Congress Podcast

 

Toni Blackman's Hip-Hop Artists to Know

Alesh (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Ashs The Best (Senegal)
Awadi (Senegal)
Bidew Bou Bess (Senegal)
EJ Von Lyrik (South Africa/Netherlands)
Fid Q (Tanzania)
Jah Baba (Benin)
MC Yallah (Uganda)
Meta & the Cornerstones (Senegal)
Modenine (Nigeria)
Ngaaka Blinde (Senegal)
Noel Grass (Kenya)
Oumy Gueye (Senegal)
Rema Namakula (Uganda)
Shadow Barazizo (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Shay Mane (France)
Stogie T (South Africa)
Valerie Belingha (Cameroon/France)
Xuman (Senegal)
Zeus (Botswana)
Zubz the Last Letta (Zimbabwe)
 

Mark Katz's Hip-Hop Artists to Know

Afroto (Egypt)

Ami Yerewolo (Mali)

Nash MC (Tanzania)

Yas Werneck (Brazil)

 

 

 

 

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