The Hip Hop and Religion Reader
Edited by Monica R Miller, Anthony B. Pinn
Routledge – 2015
Edited by two recognized scholars of African-American religion and culture, this reader, the first of its kind, provides the essential texts for an important and emerging field of study – religion and hip hop. Until now, the discipline of religious studies lacked a consistent and coherent text that highlights the developing work at the intersections of hip hop, religion and theology. Moving beyond an institutional understanding of religion and offering a multidimensional assortment of essays, this new volume charts new ground by bringing together voices who, to this point, have been a disparate and scattered few. Comprehensively organized with the foundational and most influential works that continue to provide a base for current scholarship, The Hip Hop and Religion Reader frames the lively and expanding conversation on hip hop’s influence on the academic study of religion.
"It is virtually impossible to imagine the study of popular culture today that does not give Hip Hop its due. With this Reader, Miller and Pinn offer scholars and students alike an indispensable collection of materials that will inform research and program classroom study. Historically grounded, critically informed, and socially engaged, the impressive range of essays demonstrates the high level of reflection and accomplishment that the field of hip hop studies has achieved, especially with regard to the study of religion. Showing hip hop’s global diffusion and diverse religious appeal, the essays in the volume demonstrate that the field has achieved an enviable position of scope, sophistication, and relevance."
David Morgan, Duke University, USA
"Hip hop has become one of the most important forms of popular art and culture across the world today. The Hip Hop and Religion Reader provides the most comprehensive analysis of religious dimensions of hip hop culture yet available. Rigorous, insightful and clearly organised, it will remain a definitive text in this field for students and researchers for many years to come."
Gordon Lynch, University of Kent, UK
"The Hip Hop and Religion Reader makes a sorely needed intervention into the field of hip-hop studies. Miller and Pinn have assembled an impressive body of interdisciplinary texts that spotlight hip-hop’s longstanding and deep relationship to religious narratives, traditions, institutions, and ideologies. These texts also demonstrate the ways that modern religion is informed by hip-hop’s cultural logic. This collection is crucial for understanding the foundations and future of this critically important area of inquiry."
Marc Lamont Hill, Morehouse College, USA
"This Reader is the essential resource to introduce students and researchers to what the editors describe as a 'more fully formed canon rightly called hip hop studies'…The structure, overviews, summaries, links and study questions all create a source book and conceptual roadmap, representing the foundational questions, concerns, theories and method that shape the discipline."
Abby Day, University of Kent, UK
"Exhaustive in its scope and expansive in its reach, this volume announces and solidifies the seriousness of religion to any consideration of hip hop. Pinn and Miller have put together a reader that curates an exciting new path of inquiry."
Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., Princeton University, USA
"The Hip Hop and Religion Reader certainly breaks new ground in our understanding of relations between religion and popular media cultures. It brings together superb and influential voices who understand the aesthetics, politics, and spiritualities involved when new forms of religious expression emerge outside the expected forms and the expected locations. Miller and Pinn have laid the groundwork for important and exciting new research into interactions between music cultures and religious cultures in a range of domains."
Stewart Hoover, University of Colorado Boulder, USA
"The Hip Hop and Religion Reader is a revelation—and almost in the truest theological sense. Miller and Pinn have produced what is clearly the most comprehensive and ambitious scholarly volume on the links between religiosity and hip-hop culture/music ever compiled. This Reader is as rigorous and holistic in its engagement with hip-hop as it is in its treatment of religion/spirituality. I can think of so many generative ways to teach this book, and to put its wide-ranging articles into productive conversation. I look forward to sharing this with my students."
John L. Jackson, Jr., University of Pennsylvania, USA
Contents: Acknowledgements. General Introduction—Monica R. Miller & Anthony B. Pinn. Section I Setting the Context, Framing the Discussion. 1. Michael Eric Dyson: Performance, Protest, and Prophecy in the Culture of Hip-Hop. 2. Anthony B. Pinn: Making a World with a Beat: Musical Expression’s Relationship to Religious Identity and Experience.3. Greg Dimitriadis: Hip Hop to Rap: Some Implications of an Historically Situated Approach to Performance. 4. H. Samy Alim: A New Research Agenda: Exploring the Transglobal Hip Hop Umma. Section II What’s the ‘Religion’ in Hip Hop? 5. Monica R. Miller: Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover. 6. Joseph Winters: Unstrange Bedfellows: Hip Hop and Religion. 7. John L. Jackson: Peter Piper Picked Peppers, but Humpty Dumpty Got Pushed: The Productively Paranoid Stylings of Hip-hop’s Spirituality. Section III The Religious Aesthetics of Hip Hop Culture. 8. Margarita L. Simon: Intersecting Points: The ‘Erotic as Religious’ in the Lyrics of Missy Elliott. 9. Elonda Clay: Two Turntables and a Microphone: Turntablism, Ritual and Implicit Religion. 10. Angela M. Nelson: ‘God’s Smiling on You and He’s Frowning Too’: Rap and the Problem of Evil. 11. Martina Viljoen: ‘Wrapped Up’: Ideological Setting and Figurative Meaning in African American Gospel Rap. 12. Racquel Cepeda: AfroBlue: Incanting Yoruba Gods in Hip Hop’s Isms. Section IV Hip Hop and/in Religious Traditions. Islam. 13. Juan M. Floyd-Thomas: A Jihad of Words: The Evolution of African American Islam and Contemporary Hip-Hop. 14. H. Samy Alim: Re-inventing Islam with Unique Modern Tones: Muslim Hip Hop Artists as Verbal Mujahidin. 15. Felicia M. Miyakawa: The Five Percenter ‘Way of Life’. 16. Dervla Sara Shannahan and Qurra Hussain: Rap on ‘l’avenue’; Islam, aesthetics, authenticity and masculinities in the Tunisian rap scene. Christianity. 17. Josef Sorett: Believe me, this pimp game is very religious: Toward a religious history of hip hop. 18. Cheryl Kirk-Duggan and Marlon F. Hall: Put Down the Pimp Stick to Pick Up the Pulpit: The Impact of Hip Hop on the Black Church. 19. John B. Hatch: Rhetorical Synthesis through a (Rap)Prochement of Identities: Hip-Hop and the Gospel According to the Gospel Gangstaz. 20. Daniel White Hodge: Where My Dawgs At?: A Theology of Community. Judaism. 21.Judah Cohen: Hip-Hop Judaica: The Politics of Representin’ Heebster Heritage. 22. Malka Shabtay: RaGap’: Music and Identity Among Young Ethiopians in Israel. Eastern Religion. 23. Steven J. Rosen: Hip-Hop Hinduism: The Spiritual Journey of MC Yogi. 24. Ian Condry: Battling Hip-Hop Samurai. 25. Anthony Y.H. Fung: Western Style, Chinese Pop: Jay Chou’s Rap and Hip-Hop in China. Section V Hip Hop as Religion. 26. Siphiwe Ignatius Dube: Hate Me Now: An Instance of NAS as Hip-Hop’s Self-proclaimed Prophet and Messiah. 27. James Perkinson: Tupac Shakur as Ogou Achade: Hip hop Anger and Postcolonial Rancour Read from the Other Side. 28. Robin Sylvan: Rap Music, Hip Hop Culture and ‘the Future Religion of the World’. Conclusion—Monica R. Miller & Anthony B. Pinn. Contributors. Permissions. Index.