Modernity, Urban Space and Music Industries: Hip-Hop and Reproduction of Street Music in Paris and Tokyo
2011-12-22T11:45:23Z (GMT) by
Despite their importance, debates on the global culture industry and its effects on local cultures have often been framed by the dichotomy between global capitalist producers and local romantic consumers, which fails to locate dialogues between production and consumption, globalisation and localisation, at a specific historical and geographical crossroad. This thesis attempts to assess this crossroad, focusing on the construction of hip-hop scenes in Paris and Tokyo. It pursues two routes of inquiry. Firstly, it tries to trace history and geography in the two cities of street music: the music labelled as 'delinquent' while disposed to accumulate specific capital. How has this 'street' been mediated by the globalising music industries? How has such global mediation been locally naturalised through oppositions between the 'commercial' and the 'authentic'? Secondly, through fieldwork, it seeks to detect a series of taxonomic conflicts among music industry personnel regarding hip-hop's local legitimacy. How are both the globally disseminated notion of black American 'street' as hip-hop's origin and the locally accessible history and geography of 'street' informing the hip hop scene in each of the two cities? How is hip-hop understood globally unifying and locally diversifying at once? As the two routes intersect, it turns out that the local hip-hop scenes cannot be explained simply as a product of capitalist manipulation or romantic resistance. Hip-hop has transformed the music industries in the two cities, yet its resistance is also implicated in modem technologies and industries as it has instituted its own network of cultural intermediaries. Despite (and because of) its oppositional disposition, hip-hop contradictorily reproduces modern symbolic orders. This being the case, the role of the music and related media industries should urgently be re-conceptualised for a further understanding of contemporary media and popular culture. This study is a small contribution to this issue.