Hip Hop Underground examines the changing nature of race among young Americans, and examines the issues of ethnic and racial identification, interaction, and understanding. Critiquing the notion that the Bay Area underground music scene is genuinely "colorblind," Harrison focuses on the issue of race to show how various ethnic groups engage hip hop in remarkably divergent ways—as a means to both claim subcultural legitimacy and establish their racial authenticity.
Anthony Kwame Harrison holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology/Program in Africana Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Popular Music Studies.
Know What I Mean? addresses the creative expression of degraded youth; the vexed gender relations that have made rap music a lightning rod for pundits; the commercial explosion that has made an art form a victim of its success; and the political elements that have been submerged in the most popular form of hip hops.