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Global Hip Hop Studies Special Issue

Posted: June 10th, 2021 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

Global Hip Hop Studies Special Issue: ‘It’s Where You’re @: Hip Hop and the Internet’

Guest coedited by Raquel Campos and Steven Gamble

[email protected]


Abstracts: 12 July 2021
Full articles: 22 October 2021

The Journal

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.

The Call

Internet technologies have become intertwined with almost every aspect of daily Western life, as demonstrated by the mass online migration of work, leisure and cultural activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three decades earlier, the Rakim lyric emphasizing ‘where you’re at’ coincided with the development of the first modern web browser (circa 1990). Now, with the emergence of virtual ciphers, online beat battles and hip hop chat rooms, where we are all @ is online.

This special issue of GHHS is targeted at exploring the relationship between hip hop and the internet, offering new perspectives on digital communication technologies and their impact on hip hop culture, as well as analysing the impact of hip hop culture on global online life, especially in non-Western contexts. We are particularly interested in research that reflects on the political, economic and social dynamics of hip hop culture as they intersect with internet technologies.

With examples spanning from DatPiff to TikTok, internet technologies have considerably altered the development and production of hip hop culture, creating new spaces and forms of mediation. Although digital technology and hip hop are no strangers to one another, elements of hip hop culture – especially from the global North – have appeared at the forefront of digital popular culture (for instance Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ meme template or the viral power of Lizzo’s flute-twerking). Hip hop accounted for more than one in every three pieces of music played across on-demand streaming services, according to a 2018 Nielsen Music report. Creative communities inhabit online platforms from Twitch to Discord. Rap critics on YouTube and Genius rake in millions of views. Evidently, there is a vast online community engaging with hip hop in various forms.

However, the online public sphere also disrupts many of the art form’s analogue foundations – vinyl, block/house parties and spray paint – unsettling and reconfiguring critical aspects of locality, authenticity and identity through digital assemblages of mediation, corporatization and commercialization. How are notions and relationships of locality, visibility and anonymity in hip hop scenes altered by online tools? How do digital avatars act and become understood as creative participants and how are they linked to offline practices in the genre’s production of scenes? How does all of this operate in the shadows – or even the spotlight – of corporate big-data mining and oligopolization? We encourage researchers to reflect both on the opportunities and challenges of hip hop in online spaces.

Disciplinary focus may include, but is not limited to hip hop studies, internet studies, popular music studies, digital anthropology, digital sociology, communication studies, media studies, cultural studies, fan studies, human-computer interaction, social computing, education and psychology.


Submissions may consider, but are not limited to, any of the following topics:

  • the history of hip hop and its relationship with the development of internet technologies;
  • hip hop and digital platforms, communication, networks and internet cultures
  • digital information economies, platform capitalism and the commercialization of creative practices;
  • hip hop heads under surveillance: security and privacy of online actors; criminalization of the scene and digital technologies
  • boundaries to hip hop knowledge (the ‘fifth element’): issues of internet access and global connectivity and critiques and celebrations of digitalization and democratization;
  • gender, sexuality and queerness in online hip hop spaces;
  • individual and communal identities, authenticity and realness in online fora;
  • hip hop promotion and marketing, artist opportunities, profiles, avatars and online personas;
  • collectivities: online hip hop cultures, communities and virtual scenes;
  • hip hop generations, digital ‘natives’ and late adopters;
  • internet memes, virality and social media sharing of hip hop’s digital artefacts;
  • online-native music genres, e.g. ‘Soundcloud rap’, ‘trap metal’ and neighbouring areas of digital creativity;
  • virtual concerts, video games and live hip hop online; and
  • smartphone and mobile musicking and the futures of hip hop production and consumption technologies.

GHHS invites the following types of submission:

  • articles (6,000–8,000 words maximum not including bibliography);
  • interviews with artists, industry personnel and content creators (2,000–4,000 words);
  • reviews (books, digital media, events) (1,000–2,000 words);
  • ‘Dive-in-the-Archive’ (web-oriented archival pieces) (1,000–4,000 words); and
  • ‘Show and Prove’ (400–2,000 words and at least one high-res image for the issue’s cover).

Please direct all queries to the Guest Editors at [email protected]. To be considered for this Special Issue, please submit the following via this Google Form by 12 July 2021:

  • an abstract of 150–250 words;
  • author information; and
  • a brief bio of no more than 150 words.

If your abstract is accepted, we will expect to receive the full submission uploaded via Intellect’s online submission portal by 22 October 2021. For a journal-specific style guide, please visit Intellect’s website.

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