Abstract

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, hip-hop artists responded to the disaster with an outpouring of songs that engaged with the racialization, misrepresentation and violence that framed survivors as refugees in dominant discourse. This paper explores post-Katrina hip-hop in relation to the history of post-disaster black musical production in the U.S., and considers the ways in which the music not only narrates the dislocation of the Katrina diaspora but also challenges the media's exceptionalist discourse constructing the disaster and its diaspora as a crisis for America. The music also serves to imagine new forms of home and community in which the music offers itself as a vital means of disaster recovery. Providing an affective mapping of the social, economic and discursive contradictions subtending the human disaster, post-Katrina hip hop is a critical site for interrogating the ongoing tragedy of African-American bodies that don’t matter.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6490
Print ISSN
0003-0678
Pages
pp. 671-692
Launched on MUSE
2009-09-23
Open Access
No
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