Maki Motapanyane, PhD



Motapanyane, M., ed. Mothering in Hip-Hop Culture: Representation and Experience. Bradford: Demeter Press, 2012.

Posted by Maki Motapanyane on April 15, 2010 at 4:25 PM

An Overview of the Volume

Motherhood is an experience that is ever-present yet invisible in the global music genre of Hip-Hop. This aspect of women's experience has garnered little attention from journalists, writers and scholars of Hip-Hop culture. Nor do we have any understanding of how mothers who remain Hip-Hop culture enthusiasts negotiate their relationship to the culture of Hip-Hop and its music with their children. Furthermore, what are the discursive spaces that motherhood occupies in Hip-Hop? Are there ways of understanding mothering in Hip-Hop along a historical continuum? What are some of the ways that motherhood complicates the hyper-masculinity so dominant in Hip-Hop? What does an empowered and feminist Hip-Hop mothering look like? How are mothers engaging with Hip-Hop, both locally and globally?

Since its emergence in the South Bronx during the late 1970s, Hip-Hop has attained global reach, inspiring a diversity of localized appropriations in regions around the world. Hip-Hop music is at home in Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Middle East - in musical genres as diverse as Bhangra, Kwaito, Rock, Salsa and Soukous. Women, of course, have had a significant hand in sustaining Hip-Hop culture all over the world. Yet, little is known of their involvement in Hip-Hop outside of North America and a few European regions. More generally, even less is understood about motherhood as a dimension of women's experiences as rappers, dancers, filmmakers, producers, DJs, graphic artists, music enthusiasts, and writers of Hip-Hop culture.

This volume aims to give motherhood within Hip-Hop culture an intellectual point of entry into an existing field of academic debates that have largely focused on analyzing the sexual objectification of women, and the valorization of violent masculinity, fierce homophobia and rampant consumerism. As such, I see this volume as making a timely and much needed contribution to existing scholarship and writing in this area.


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