Christi In the following essay I will be applying Argue Epidurals theory of global cultural flows and social imagination to the two African hip hop case studies written by Kindler and Buddha. I will be analyzing the case studies with regard to Epidural and his theories. Epidurals theory was to look at the effects of globalization on culture and how It has affected the society. He makes five very important points towards global cultural flows. He thought of it as different streams that flow into and intersect each other. Many of these different flows conflict one another as well as overlap.
These various lows reflected upon the way globalization Is on culture. The five points Epidural makes with regards to the globalization of culture are: ethnographers, technocracies, financiers, immediacies and dislocates. ( Epidural, 1996) Ethnographers was the constant flow of humans. Examples of this are tourists, refugees, etc. Technocracies was the way technology evolved and how this Information reached different countries. Appliances was explained by Epidural to be the global capital; he also states that the flow of capital and the speed at which it flows is greatly unpredictable.
Immediacies refers to the media. The media has evolved to an extent hat what the media portrays is considered to be truthful. He suggests that private and public Interests throughout the world have control over media. Dislocates Is the ideology. Epidural likes to view it as ideas about politics. An example of an ideograph would be democracy. Dislocates and immediacies are linked closely together. ( Epidural, 1996) Apartheid was one of south Africans major setbacks. Apartheid was when people use to be classified by race. There were three races namely whit, colored and black.
The whites were the most privileged and the blacks were the least. The closured were basically In the middle. Due to Apartheid people were not allowed to go to certain areas as these areas were reserved for the whites. Democracy began In the early 1 ass’s. This was when the population of South Africa were given equal rights as to the whites. This process was very traumatic and dramatic in the sense that people has to undergo a drastic change. They had plenty of opportunities and freedom that they did not previously have. This was all too much for them to handle as to their previous lives.
Democracy changed the environment people lived in by allowing them access to education, living areas and many other opportunities. Change was rustically evident with regards to technology and the way people were living around the world. Due to this rapid transformation people are still trying to change the way they live and are finding it hard to adjust to the political economic ways of life. According to Epidurals theory on dislocates the case study involving democracy and the political change is an example that his theory is evidently true and happening all around us In present day. Epidural, 1996) In Batch’s article he says that old solo rules and new solo breaks, this refers to the 1 OFF development. Old solo rap represents the culture and unity of the community whereas new solo is more about the money, drugs, violence and sex. The ‘rule’ in old solo rules could have referred to restrictions and rules therefore it can be closely linked with Apartheid. In new solo breaks the ‘break can mean a break through. This could have been more positive than negative. For example the democracy and freedom.
The new solo hip hop artists are not very society driven therefore the break could also mean the divisions in the society. (Buddha, 2003) Most of the old solo hip hop artists were closured living in the Cape Flats. They were respected by the society for acquiring culture. The new solo artists are mostly young white youth from middle and upper middle class backgrounds. These new hip hop artists are sometimes only interested in the music and not the culture. ‘Break beat’ music brought the youth together from different racial and class boundaries.
The youth are aware of the backgrounds of the racial and class divisions but Buddha states that they can still be involved in reworking these roles or breaking them down therefore one can say that there can be freedom but they are unable to escape the past of Apartheid completely. (Buddha, 2003) The TVA graffiti crew is one of the oldest in Cape Town. The group consisted of three. Folk was one of the more skilled members of the crew. Two of the creamers were from Mitchell Plain and one from Constant. Gender roles played a major part in there society.
In a case study the colored crew members spilt paint and were trying to clean it when the white crew member came and done it. The two colored men referred to the white man as ‘baas’ but it was ironic because he was the one cleaning. The creamers lived together in one house as a family. Therefore there were different racial groups and class living together. Previously this would be unacceptable. This was an example of ethnographers and the globalization of the different cultures and races. The white crewmen had more power because he could get finance and business resources easier than the closured.
The Apartheid system cannot be forgotten easily but in the post Apartheid the overlap of races and cultures can be overlapped and negotiated as we have seen with the TVA crew. (Buddha, 2003) There is much conflict between the old and new artist of hip hop. The old think that the music and parties of the new artists are too commercialism and have sold out. Much of the togetherness of hip hop has been lost. In the past people had to go through great lengths in order to acquire a hip hop tape or video. Hip hop music did not play on radio stations therefore only dedicated people could have access to it.
Most of the time these dedicated youth came from the colored community of Cape Town. They got tapes and videos through international networks and this is how they gained knowledge about hip hop, break dancing, etc. When South Africa opened the borders it became much easier to get hip hop tapes and therefore it spread much quicker. This is an example of the technology and the globalization of it, as Epidural alls it the technocrats. (Epidural, 1996) The youth were influenced by this culture of hip hop.
The talent was seen by the international and they came to South Africa to exposure they became much more experienced and learnt more about the culture across the world. South Africa was therefore more informed about the youth trends across the world. The whites had to turn to the closured in order to learn hip hop. During Apartheid old solo hip hop was banned due to the political lyrics and the content. In the sass’s the white men found it hard to get into hip hop because they lost their political power. They were in some way alienated.
Many of these white youth showed and expressed themselves through hip hop graffiti. Many of these whites were privileged. The fact that the TVA crew can live together and forget about their race shows that, that is there way of revolutionaries. Madhouse is one of the most successful groups consisting of two closured and four whites. In present hip hop music is about the townships and violence. Whites are afraid to go to the townships but they want to learn hip hop and graffiti. (Buddha, 2003) Rappers reflected their lyrics upon political and social problems. This was referred to as conscious hip hop.
When people think of rappers they often think of African artists or African American because it originated in Africa. Hip hop artists bring political topics into their lyrics therefore one could say that they practice political and cultural movement. Therefore hip hop is a form of being against politics. There is a connection between rap music and the media. During the 2000 elections in Zanzibar, rap music was banned because of the influence it might have had. (Kindler, 2006) Many hip hop artists praise the press for the exposure. Hip hop artists live in urban areas because they have an easier access to music and television.
Media plays an important role in hip hop, Epidural sees this as immediacies. (Epidural, 1996) The production of hip hop music is dominated by male artists therefore the lyrics always have a males perspective. In Africa young people are not suppose to express their opinion in public therefore hip hop served a form of expressing their opinions. The young African therefore look up upon the hip hop artists because they appeal to them. This is a form of social change. Many Africans were part of the slave trade. They use to be exchanged for random materials.
This is another example of ethnographers. African soldiers took part in the World War 2. They were not paid what they should have gotten. Some of the people still want compensation for their help in the war. (Kindler, 2006) Hip hop was used as a voice about the lack of economic status. Rappers often bring up the prevention of AIDS and diseases. This will hopefully get the message to the youth. The lack of education was a major cause of the poverty. Most artists cannot live on music because it is very costly. In African countries it is more expensive to record an album as to an overseas country.
Even though some artists make five digit numbers this is not enough to cover production costs. The flow of finance in Africa was therefore very slow. Epidural regarded the finance and capital as financiers. (Epidural, 1996) They have to save money in order to make a second album. They do not make enough money because the population buying the cad’s do not have the buying power because they are young. There are also many cheap pirated copies that influence the artists copyright compensations negatively. Due to the globalization of technology it has made it possible to copy cad’s at a very low cost.
Rappers are unable to change the capital system because they do not have a concrete concept in order to counter the capitalism system. Therefore hip hop does not go very far and is not very concrete in order to change the systems. Hip hop is seen as a means of empowerment and to change things. People should continue to make hip hop music but it should be more specific about what is happening in the world today and not the past. The government will not regard hip hop as politics but at least the voices and opinions will be heard. Bibliography Epidural, Argue (1996); ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy.