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Free Content ‘Wot do u call it? Doof doof’: Articulations of glocality in Australian grime music

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Grime music emerged at the turn of the millennium in the United Kingdom. While grounded and street-level at its outset, the form has since become global in reach. This article focuses on performance practice in the East Australian grime scene and its development over time. Principally, it attends to how MCs and DJs articulate a sense of belonging to both the UK and their local communities in Melbourne and Sydney, through lyrical and musical signification. These articulations are shown to be an example of ‘glocal’ performance practice, which is locally situated yet globally rendering. The article also demonstrates how these artists’ conceptions of legitimate practice are heavily mediated by YouTube videos of canonical UK practice, owing to their geographical dislocation from the genre’s initial point of origin. As a result, radio performances ‐ known as ‘sets’ ‐ and live shows are often prioritized over recorded releases. These findings are supported by interviews with Australian artists, and musical analysis of two key performances: a radio set on Australian broadcaster Triple J from November 2018 and a global grime showcase on London’s Rinse FM from January 2019.

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Keywords: Australia; glocality; grime music; hip hop; media ecologies; mediation; transnational flow; youth studies

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000121916040Goldsmiths, University of London

Publication date: June 1, 2020

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  • Global Hip Hop Studies (GHHS) is a peer-reviewed, rigorous and community-responsive academic journal that publishes research on contemporary as well as historical issues and debates surrounding hip hop music and culture around the world, twice annually.
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