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Hip hop and music education: Where is race?

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Engagement with hip hop – a cultural form that emerged from Black communities in New York City in the 1970s (Chang 2005) – as White listeners, musicians, educators and researchers requires asking thoughtful questions about race, racism and power. This introduction considers ethical issues that may arise from hip hop pedagogy and scholarship and explores the imperative to grapple with Whiteness when centring hip hop in our praxis. Power relations intricately shape hip hop education and hip hop research; as such, developing a practice of questioning and ‘second guessing’ ourselves as educators and researchers may allow us to develop an ethical practice for engaging with hip hop that centres race, racism and Whiteness, and refuses to reinscribe structural racist and salvationist power relations.
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Keywords: Whiteness; hip hop; identity; music education; power; race

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Michigan State University

Publication date: August 1, 2018

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  • The main aims of Journal of Popular Music Education, especially initially, will be iteratively to define the parameters of the field and disciplines of its readership and contributors (especially with regard to other journals in popular music and music education), this being an emerging field of scholarship and practice. The other principal aim will be to disseminate excellent critique and other forms of scholarship (e.g. phenomenological) in and related to the field. The journal will have an inclusive, global reach. 'Education' and 'popular music' are terms that we expect to be stretched and problematized through rigorous examination from multiple international perspectives.
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