Hip Hop and Urban Space in Los Angeles
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This project examines the ways in which contemporary hip hop culture in Los Angeles has drawn upon earlier African American sociocultural movements of the 20th century. Two movements in particular, the Central Avenue Renaissance of the 1940s and 1950s, and the Watts based Black Arts movement of the 1960s and 1970s, provide contemporary hip hop artists a rich tradition of cultural production to draw upon. By inheriting cultural aesthetics and radicalized political messages from these two movements, hip hop artists from the both the “mainstream” and the “underground” have been able to express a distinct, critical voice and use popular culture as a tool for African American empowerment.