Breaking Rules: 3rd EHHSN Meeting – Registration Now Open!


The third edition of the European Hiphop Studies Network Meeting will take place from 11-12 September 2020 – live and online – in the Netherlands for the first time. And the hiphop city Rotterdam will be hosting it. We want you to be there and join the conversation!

The line-up will be a mix of international hiphop scholars, hiphop artists, graffiti specialists and urban culture experts. Such as: Ian Solomon-Kawall, Gregor Bulc and Dieuwertje Heuvelings. There will be Artist Talks – by bboy break dancer Redo, rapper Akwasi, and street soccer specialist Rocky – on the impact of hiphop on their lives and how they use this impact to inspire youth. The sessions will be live streamed online.

In addition, there will be sessions on hiphop studies, online and offline. For instance, get to know 12 young Dutch hip hop scholars who are grounded in the hiphop and academic communities, experience a somethin’-out-of-nothin’ session or an in the moment analysis of hiphop tracks, get involved in a discussion on feminism in rap music or share your thoughts on issues of belonging and non-belonging in hiphop.

This year’s meeting will feature a wide array of lively interactive sessions in which the audience’s participation and knowledge is indispensable. Feel free to join, feel free to share your thoughts, so that research on hip hop and its real life practice can reinforce each other.

This network meeting is organized in cooperation with LKCA and will take place during the Rotterdam Street Culture Weekend. The main language used in the meeting will be English.

Check out the complete line-up, all speakers, artists and topics for discussion.

Register now!

Transcultural Hip-Hop @ U Bern: Postoned to 28-30 October 2021

Read a special message from the conference organizers:

“Dear all,

closely monitoring the global COVID crisis, we have been debating various options regarding how we can successfully hold the “Transcultural Hip-Hop” conference and we felt the most appropriate way forward was to delay the event for one year.

This means that we will hold the conference on Friday the 29th and Saturday the 30th October 2021 – with a kick-off event due to be held in the evening on Thursday the 28th October.

Although there are various online ways of holding such events, because of our inter-disciplinary approach we want to interact ‘in person’ with as many of our attendees as possible, and therefore a physical conference is very much our preferred option.

We hope that by moving the conference by exactly a year this will give our participants the best chance of attending. Further information, including the program will be posted at our website in due course:

Best wishes and stay safe,

The organising committee

James Barber, Christian Büschges, Britta Sweers & Dianne Violeta Mausfeld”

Read the original post of this event here.

CfP: Persecuting and Policing Rap, Deadline 1 Oct 2020

Contributions are invited to a special issue of Popular Music (Cambridge University Press, 40.4, 2021): on the complex interface between rap music (taken in its broadest sense to include mainstream rap, gangsta rap, grime, drill, activist rap, etc.) and criminal justice systems around the world.  

Rap music is an international youth-cultural powerhouse and, while its spread has been celebrated, it has also been attended by mounting criminalisation. This special issue asks researchers to explore the policing and prosecuting of rap and how this has been framed in media reporting. It also considers what might make rap susceptible to such state criminalization and how rappers, communities, civil liberties groups, defence lawyers, and scholars have come to challenge ‘prosecuting rap’.  

The growing use of rap music in criminal and civil proceedings has emerged as a well-documented debate and issue of public concern in the US—dubbed ‘Rap on Trial’ (as per the title of Andrea Dennis and Erik Nielson’s recent book). However, outside the US, it is much less understood and there is a pressing need for more scrutiny and critique. This special issue is particularly interested in work that addresses case studies and trends in the global South; in Britain and other non-US parts of the global North; and in comparative work on the US in relation to other countries.  

We welcome contributions from a range of disciplines (law, popular music, media studies, sociology, criminology, cultural studies, linguistics, socio-psychology, etc.). We’re keen on approaches that open outwards from concrete discourses, poetics, policies and practices to expose broader social trends, institutional processes, and critical concepts that lay bare state violence (racism; economic injustice; overpolicing, etc.) and that offer radical critiques. We are also keen on applied work, and contributions that engage with rappers, communities, activists, and criminal justice professionals.  

Rap music is policed by the state in a range of national contexts. In the UK, for instance, rappers have had injunctions imposed on their music, while rap is increasingly used as evidence in criminal trials, replayed in courtrooms to confirm stereotypes about the violent and criminal propensities of young black men. Rap music can be used to sweep a group of youngsters into a single serious-violence charge through gang narratives and controversial ‘joint enterprise’ law. How might rap feed into racist and class-based disparities in criminal-justice monitoring, censoring, data-gathering, policing, charging, convicting, sentencing, and media-framing in different countries? How might the prosecuting rap phenomenon open a window into wider racial inequalities in criminal justice systems? 

These questions about institutional racism in criminal justice systems and the weaponisation of black youth culture have been injected with urgency by the international antiracism protests that have swept 2020. 

Contributions should actively position themselves in relation to what’s already been said in the small but growing literature to generate new insights and approaches. 

Topics to be addressed may include:  

  • the use of rap music and black youth culture in criminal proceedings in various national contexts 
  • state regulation and censorship of rap recording, circulation and performance 
  • rap evidence and gang narratives in joint-enterprise and conspiracy cases 
  • informal policing (behaviour orders, public space protection orders, risk assessment forms, etc.) 
  • police databases, rap and the surveillance state 
  • rap and racism (institutional, cultural, overt) in criminal justice systems 
  • digital musical culture and rap evidence 
  • prosecuting rap as constraint on human capabilities/rights 
  • rap and laws of evidence 
  • the news-media framing of rap in criminal proceedings 
  • rap as anti-carceral ‘defunding’ culture 
  • community, musician and inter-generational responses to prosecuting rap 
  • youth, rap and criminal justice  
  • geographies of prosecuting rap and comparative perspectives 
  • prosecuting rap, capitalism and the cultural industries  
  • rap distinctions (genre labels; amateur v professional) and racial bias in the courtroom  
  • challenging prosecuting rap  

Call for Abstracts 

Please send Abstracts (300 words max) + bio (150 words max) to the three co-editors of the special issue by 1 October 2020 (commissioning of articles scheduled for October 2020, with completed commissioned articles by 1 July 2021): 

New Journal Global Hip Hop Studies Launched: Free First Issue!

It is a great pleasure to announce the launch of the new journal Global Hip Hop Studies. Griff Rollefson (UC Cork) and Adam Haupt (U Capetown) et al. have put together a new and exciting 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. The first issue is available online and is open access. Enjoy reading about Filipino-American barbers in San Diego, DIY studios in India, and black women in digital spaces.

The GHHS’s proactive distribution model provides journal access to the under-resourced communities who created the culture, thus aiming at nothing less than a refiguration of the university knowledge trade. If you would like to obtain the journal for your community, email the editors. If you are a scholar, please get in touch with your insitution and ask your librarian to order through their usual channels.

Statement of Solidartiy

The European Hiphop Studies Network stands unequivocally in support of #BlackLivesMatter. 

We bear witness to the lives lost at the hands of police brutality, from Trayvon Martin, to George Floyd, from Sandra Bland to Brionna Taylor, Adama Traoré and so many others. 

We condemn police brutality and racism and we call out the systems of racialised inequality that make it possible – ideological structures that value whiteness more highly than other skin colours, unequal access to and quality of citizenship rights, housing, policing, education, and healthcare. 

We stand in solidarity with all who, on a daily basis, face blatant and subtle racism and discrimination in the US, in Europe and around the globe. Racial oppression may vary locally but it occurs globally.  

We encourage Network members and followers to consult the website of the Black Lives Matter movement on how to combat institutionalised racism, on how to promote allyship and to foster solidarity.

New Book: Rap de Acá: La Historia del Rap en Argentina

Rap de Acá, es el primer volumen de una serie de libros que abordan los origines del rap y el Hip Hop en la República Argentina. Este primer número abarca al surgimiento y evolución del rap desde sus comienzos hasta 1993. El mismo, a través de entrevistas a los propios protagonistas, busca reconstruir la historia de los primeros pasos de práctica del rap en Argentina. Con prólogo de Juan Data, histórico periodista fundador del fanzine Moshpit, y uno de los expertos en rap local, y un bonus track: un tema musical de tango rap compuesto por Smoler Bazz (ex Sindicato Argentino del Hip Hop) y Mariano y Alejandro Rucci (ex 9mm). Editado por Editorial Leviatan, se puede encontrar su versión impresa y ebook bajo la plataforma Kindle de Amazon.

Rap de Acá, is the first volume of a series of books that address the origins of rap and Hip Hop in the Argentine Republic. This first number covers the emergence and evolution of rap from its beginnings to 1993. The same, through interviews with the protagonists themselves, seeks to reconstruct the history of the first steps of practicing rap in Argentina. With a foreword by Juan Data, historical journalist founder of the fanzine Moshpit, and one of the experts in local rap, and a bonus track: a tango rap musical theme titled “De Pibes” composed by Smoler Bazz (ex-Argentine Hip Hop Syndicate) and Mariano y Alejandro Rucci (ex 9mm). Edited by Editorial Leviatan, this printed version can be found in traditional bookstores and in Ebook format under the Amazon Kindle platform. Rap de Acá is the first book that addresses the history of rap in our country.

Thanks to Martin Biaggini for sharing!

Call for Papers: “New York City in Song,” Edited Collection

Editors Veronika Keller, Sabrina Mittermeier, and Maciej Smólka invite you to submit papers on rap music.

Call for Papers

New York City has one of the richest musical histories in all of the US, and has been the
subject of an astonishing number of songs – something that has so far not been
comprehensively addressed in academic works.
Thus, the proposed volume under the working title “New York City in Song” wants to
analyze songs written about New York City, and engage with the depiction of the city within them, but also use it as a way to deal with several musical genres that the city has been home to, and was instrumental in developing. These include the vaudeville and musical theater scene on Broadway and beyond, but also hip hop, disco, punk, folk, jazz, swing, rock or pop music. It will therefore contribute to both the fields of urban studies and popular music studies, which have become well-developed areas of study over the recent years, but are still lacking specialized literature – especially such that considers their intersections.
We are seeking contributions from those with a cultural studies, media studies, music
geography, cultural history or musicology background, making possible a far-ranging
treatment of the interconnection of the city space and its musical history. We are looking for authors with an accessible writing style, while still having rigorous research standards. Our final line-up should reflect the varied musical history of New York, placing particular emphasis on marginalized histories.
Each chapter should focus on one song (potentially two if by the same artist or composer or if you can make a convincing argument for thematic or historic connection, such as cover versions) or a whole album (if possible to discuss it properly in one chapter), either from the following list or one of your choosing that you think reflects a specific imagery/myth of the city or a key element of New York’s music scene. It should put the musical pieces into its historical context at the time of writing, its relevance for the musical genre it belongs to, how it and its artist is connected to New York City, and what image of the city it depicts.
Authors can also address the way these songs have been used in other works of popular culture (such as film or television) to perpetuate this image and a connected myth of New York. There are two separate but connected agendas – we both want to discuss an imaginary of New York as well as a lived reality that connects the songs to the unique urban landscape of this city, to reflect how music has shaped the space, but also how the city is reflected in its music and by its artists.

Final examples will be determined by submissions we receive. They can include parlor or vaudeville songs from the 19th century and early 20th century, but will mainly focus on the 20th and 21st centuries.

Intellect has expressed interest in the project and the editors expect to be contracted based on a convincing final table of contents. Please send us an abstract of 300 words plus a 150 word author bio by October 31, 2020 to Full first drafts of chapters of 3,000-5,000 words will be due by March 31, 2021, aiming for a publication of the book some time in 2022.

DIY Cultural Diplomacy Sweden

Ezana Mussie, music producer and researcher, is looking for people who are interested in exchange and cooperation in the framework of his research project DIY Cultural Diplomacy. The premise of the project is to appropriate cultural diplomacy from a hip-hop perspective, and to convey this process transmedially.

The Project

DIY Cultural Diplomacy is a transmedial artistic research project based on the premise to reappropriate cultural diplomacy and challenge its ideas about what is possible, relevant, appropriate, representative and accepted. Different aspects of the reappropriation process unfolds in different media. DIY Cultural Diplomacy also explores, cultivates and attempt to expand the capacity to be hip-hop.

While firmer anti-discrimination and anti-racism doctrines have been institutionalized in Sweden since the early 2000’s ethno-nationalism is increasing. Meanwhile, cultural policy aimed at increasing diversity in publicly funded culture through efforts of inclusion are failing to achieve its goals, and therefore possibly illegitimate from a democratic standpoint. The nationalism that permeate cultural institutions make inclusion conditional and diversity divisive. This creates a tension when national cultural policy internationalizes and claims to be representative. How does cultural diplomacy attend to this issue? Who gets to access and influence representations of Swedish cultural life? What informs cultural diplomacy? What is knowledge about cultural policy? 

Historically speaking, this (inter)national cultural political order is an exception. The exception is hidden behind rhetoric and practices which are continuations of the ambivalence of late colonialism and decolonization. The nation-state is an important ordering entity in this arrangement, which is maintained by internal and external institutions. DIY Cultural Diplomacy challenges this order and its norms and practices through Hip-hop. A driving hypothesis is that hip-hop is epistemologically equipped to inform, challenge and improve this order. The cultural attaché is a peculiar point of tangency in the (inter)national cultural political order. So, in this point of tangency, what would hip-hop do? 

DIY Cultural Diplomacy is supported by Kulturbryggan/The Swedish Arts Grants Committee.

Contact Information:

Vocalists, Poets, Beatmakers: ABE PE SHOW is looking for Artists @ TURN UP 2020.

Turn up is a musical project in Italy with the ambition of bringing together international artists in a scenario of enhancing diversity. The goal is to create 10 original tracks by crossing heterogeneous musical genres and new perspectives.

Turn up is produced by Abe pe show in collaboration with Trento Massive, Smarmellata Association, Trento Poetry Slam, Akoma Collective and realized with the financial contribution of the Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy.


The selected artistes will collaborate with the Abe pe Show production team with the aim of recording and producing an album with unreleased songs to be launched internationally, by the end of 2020. The meetings and recordings will be made in Trento or if conditions do not allow us online, in the months between June / September 2020.

Who can participate?

Singers/rappers, poets and beatmakers of any musical style, origin and age. In the case of minors, the parental authorization must be attached.

How to participate?

The artists who intend to participate in the competition are required to fill in every part of the application that can be downloaded from all Abe pe show social networks which must be sent by June 5, 2020 to the email address attaching the following documentation:

  • Filled in and signed registration form
  • N ° 1 audio track in mp3 version (with indication of credits)
  • N° 1 link to a video performance on social media tagging it to abepeshow’s pages with the statement “TURN UP, ABE PE SHOW”: Facebook, Instagram
  • Photocopy of Identity card or document
  • Photograph of the artiste


The artists will be selected by a team of experts in the area of ​​music production and communication of the Abe pe show music house and the partners involved. ie; the Trento Massive project, the Smarmellata Association and Trento Poetry Slam. The jury’s verdict will be given by sending an email  to the selected by the end of June.


If you are among the 10 selected artistes, you will have the opportunity to create your own original song and participate in a video clip, find new stimulus and opportunities for your growth. The ten selected artists will have a refund of 150 euros.

Contact Information


Call for Submissions: Breaking Rules: EHHS Network Meeting 2020

We are so pumped to share the Call for Submissions for our very special network meeting!

Breaking Rules: The 3rd Meeting of the European Hiphop Studies Network Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 11-13 September 2020

Call for Submissions: pdf Version

The field of hip-hop studies cannot exist without the engagement and involvement of hip-hop practitioners. The organising committee welcomes proposals for contributions to our annual meeting that reflect this understanding.

Substantive AND Reflective Content

Undoubtedly the norms, values, and practice of scholarly research have shaped and formed the field of hip-hop studies inside and outside Europe in one way or another. Today, the academy seems finally to haveaccepted hip-hop as a worthy object of study – despite continuing stigmas – and as such hip-hop has won international recognition and critical acclaim. At the same time, the rules, boundaries, and knowledge regimes of living hip-hop culture must have an impact on this field of study as well. As such, these two fields both push and pull researchers in what may sometimes feel as opposite directions.

The fraught issue of legitimacy on both ends of the spectrum (keeping it rigorous AND keepin’ it real), is something hip-hop researchers experience at least once in their academic career. Anthropologists, ethnomusicologists, and sociologists use a wide range of methods to reflect on experiences during their research which trigger questions about legitimacy. But what about hip-hop researchers? In the past, scholars, such as Rose (1994), Perry (2004), Forman and Neal (2004/2012), Snell and Söderman (2014), Dimitriadis (2015), and Şahin (2019), have explored questions of bridging hip-hop scenes with the academy. Current developments, such as digitisation, global migration, and the increasing institutionalisation of hip-hop culture ask for both the deepening of existing methods and the development of new concepts.

For our Network meeting we ask researchers to share both their substantive knowledge about a particular topic of hip-hop culture, as well as their perspective on experiences in which they had to cultivate legitimacy for doing that particular research. We thus invite you to share your experiences of standing with one foot in the academic world and with another in hip-hop culture. In this conference, we will thus give attendees a ‘behind the scenes’ perspective on our journeys in the field of hip-hop studies in, on, and about Europe. What is your method? Please, be open-hearted and open-minded!

By means of combining both substantive content on hip-hop culture AND reflections on issues of legitimacy, we intend to bridge gaps between various traditional academic disciplines, such as anthropology, musicology, sociology, arts, language studies, and their research methods. The committee encourages proposals that tackle the foregoing two topics of substance and reflection – content and context. It is our belief that we can decolonize the presumed “objectivity” of university research, being both creative and critical while still being accountable researchers. Hip-hop studies is an academic field of study and is able, at the same time, to challenge the academic frame and produce new emancipatory knowledges. The objective of this year’s meeting is to create a white paper which reflects our approach to hip-hop studies and which will be published in the framework of the conference.

Format, Proposals, and Selection Process

Since our approach for this meeting is to “break the rules,” we invite researchers and practitioners to rethink their way of dropping knowledge by using interactive formats. We encourage you to deviate from conventional conference presentations. Presentation formats could include living labs, poster presentations, artist-scholar dialogues, interactive workshops, analysis in the moment, performances, action type research, and storytelling. Feel free to contact the committee if you have questions or want to exchange ideas concerning your format of presentation.

Proposals can be submitted as audio-/visual and written texts. Audio-/visual texts should be a maximum of two minutes and be submitted as .mp4 file. Written proposals should include a title, 250 word abstract of their contribution and short biographical sketch. Send in your proposal to no later than 29 May 2020. We especially welcome papers that engage with less-academically-visible work, and from artists and practitioners from a wider variety of backgrounds. As far as possible, all proposals will be anonymised before being submitted to the organisation committee. The committee will select proposals between 1 and 12 June 2020. Letters of acceptance and rejection will be sent out until 22 June 2020.

The Meeting

The meeting will take place either in Rotterdam and/or online. We do advise participants not to arrange travel and accommodation until there is clarity about travel conditions in regard to the worldwide corona pandemic. Please consider how to present online and include your ideas in the proposal. Once selected, we will keep everybody informed about the format of the meeting in our social media channels.

Organisation Committee

  • Joan Biekman (Cultuurschakel The Hague)
  • Amalia Deekman (LKCA)
  • Frieda Frost (Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln)
  • Miriam Geerdes-Gazzah (independent researcher)
  • Steven Gilbers (U of Groningen)
  • Rachel Gillett (Utrecht U)
  • Simon Mamahit (Cultuur Oost & Poppunt Gelderland)
  • Claudia Marinelli (LKCA)
  • James McNally (independent researcher)
  • Sina A. Nitzsche (Ruhr U Bochum)
  • Aafje de Roest (Leiden U)
  • Griff Rollefson (U College Cork)
  • Serhatcan Yurdam (Ege U)

Breaking Rules is being organised in cooperation with the National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts Utrecht (LKCA), Urban Culture Weekend Rotterdam, CIPHER: Hip-Hop Interpellation Cork, and various hip-hop partners during the Urban Street Culture Weekend in Rotterdam.