Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities
2010—2011 Forum on Virtuality
Modern Middle Eastern Studies
Born Here/Estranged Here: Israeli and Palestinian Hip-Hop Broadcasts the Nation
Since the 1970s, hip-hop has transformed from a localized urban movement into a global phenomenon whose permutations vary depending on the people and places that appropriate it. In Israel and Palestine, hip-hop artists have taken this musical form and used it to express and foster support for nationalist narratives. Beyond matters of nationalism, these artists have used this medium to define the key elements of their collective identity and struggle. Using the virtual revolution as a platform for spreading their music and embedded narratives beyond their immediate borders, Israeli and Palestinian hip-hop artists seek international acclaim and recognition of the legitimacy of their respective narratives. Exploring and comparing these narratives provides a glimpse into Israeli and Palestinian self-conceptions as well as youth culture's reflections of greater societal trends.