The current anxieties and insecurities of identity felt by many in the wake of globalization exhibits a need for a shift in the way we see ourselves and the Other. In order to demonstrate one example of this shift, I will analyze a growing hip-hop scene heavily influenced by the Internet, and how it is fostering new pathways of cultural interaction and a resulting fluidity in the process of identity formation. I will first lay down a theoretical framework for such a shift using the works of cultural theorist Stuart Hall and postcolonial philosopher Édouard Glissant, as well as French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guttari. From there, I will align this shift in the notion of identity with a larger cultural development labeled by Timotheus Velmeulen and Robin van den Akker as metamodernism, described as an oscillation between irony and sincerity, and explore some of the modes of expression which this development consists of. Finally, I will then analyze two case studies, the American rapper RiFF RAFF and the Swedish rapper Yung Lean, with these modes of expression and theoretical framework in mind, and explore the way in which their respective journeys illustrate this shift in identity.
Hicken, Scott, "Rapping in the Clouds: Shifting Identities and Metamodern Tendencies in Internet Hip-Hop" (2018). Media Studies Undergraduate Honors Theses. 1.
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