It is also interesting to note that aside from the rapper Eve, there is not a single female voice among the commentators; and indeed,  the world depicted in “Scarface” is a world with little room for females, and the film often basks shamelessly in its misogyny and commodification of women.  Furthermore, some of the hip-hop artists who are featured are  presented in less-than-flattering lights; the most notorious example is the Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man, who addresses the camera in close-ups for all of his segments, and speaks with a dazed, stoned look amidst a cloud of billowing smoke.  This setup, whether genuine or staged, forces the viewer to call into question the  relevance of what the commentator is saying, or even the lucidity of his mental processes at the given moment.

Henry Obiospo's article is a primer on East Coast Graffiti. To most people, Graffiti is seen as vandalism. In hip-hop, graffiti is a medium for artistic expression. In some regards, graffiti art represents the struggle and challenge to mainstream idealism that Hip-Hop embodies. To understand hip-hop, one also needs to understand the artistic expression of graffiti and the cultural space that has defined it. This article does provide a basis for understanding graffiti in Hip-Hop.

The terms in the vocabulary were defined by Toni Blackman, Terence Nicholson and Henry Obiospo. We are continuously adding vocabulary terms to the glossary. If you would like to add your hip-hop vocabulary to the collection, please go to the Hip-Hop Glossary.

Toni Blackman is an explosive rap lyricist, vocalist and writer who is considered a pioneer in hip-hop theater. A founder of Freestyle Union, she is a former ambassador of Hip-Hop from the State Department to Senegal and Ghana. She has been featured in Vibe and Essence magazine and also appeared on CSPAN. Blackman infuses and molds grassroot activism, politics and culture in her work. In a sea of lack-luster and fading artists, she is a musical gem that continues to elevate all to a higher conscious level.

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LivewireRasta Livewire is a leading blog that provides in-depth viewpoints from Rastas in Africa and African Diaspora.

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