Total 3 questions, about 175 words per question should be fine.
Question 1: Do you believe hip hop was the best genre to highlight the political issues that occurred in Bosnia-Herzegovina? If so, why?
Hip hop in Bosnia was used as a way to critique, protest, and form of resistance against the political system in place in present-day Bosnia-Herzegovinia. They currently have a three-member presidency composed of Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats, which does not allow for a fair representation of the people of Bosnia. It excludes many other ethnicities present in the country and therefore, sparked the popularity of the hip hop genre to promote antiauthoritarianism. The emergence of hip hop began in 1999 in Tuzla, a city known for its adherence to multicultural coexistence. Many local artists capitalized on the political nature of the genre, as it stemmed from European refugees and the historical background of black youth in the united states, and they used this association to dissect and critique the political scene that resulted from the war and the grievances that stemmed from it (xenophobia, nationalism, and corruption). Was hip hop the most appropriate and suitable genre of music to accomplish this? Why was this genre chosen?
Question 2: Is hip hop inherently referential, and if so, how does the removal of sample-based production affect that nature?
Born out of a technique employed by DJs in dance clubs in the 1970s, hip hop has historically used samples from previously recorded records as the foundation of songs’ instrumentals. For decades, producers and DJs would listen to records of all genres for a drum break, bass line, or melody to record and reproduce in a new pattern using samplers.
Because the music of hip hop was fundamentally drawn from other, disparate sources, producers, DJs, and MCs inherently acknowledged the source of each sample and its place in pop culture. Therefore the samples complimented the lyrics of each track.
For example, 1990s Californian DJs sampled funk records to convey the fun, party atmosphere evoked by many g-funk singles of the time. On the other side of the US, producers sampled sparse jazz records for use in East Coast hardcore to compound the raw, gritty nature of the scene. In the South, film samples amplified the extravagance of horror-core.
When listening to the songs from Bosnia included in the presentation, I noticed that the majority sampled reggae, ska, and dub tracks. Though I initially anticipated Bosnian producers to sample punk records, given the genre’s history in the region and similar political statements, the reggae connection makes sense. During the initial punk explosion in Britain, ska and reggae bands performed alongside punks and preached similar messages of political and racial liberty.
Despite the intrinsic referentiality of sampling, modern hip hop has begun disposing of samples entirely. Due to advanced digital audio workstations available at affordable prices and industry legislation punishing sample-based production, many contemporary producers write and record original melodies and instrumentals for hip hop songs.
This new method has produced some incredible music, but without explicitly referential lyrics, has this modern hip hop lost that inherent, historical quality? Is non-referential hip hop as powerful a medium of political and social critique as previously?
Question 3: With both punk and hip hop being political, what differentiated the movements and the audiences?
Music has been utilized as a tool in conveying political messages. The punk music movement in Yugoslavia was recognized for its political and societal rebellion. The function of hip hop music in postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina was developed with much of the shared principles–to critique, protest, and resist. With thematic similarities, what differentiated these movements?
Could a new punk music movement in Bosnia-Herzegovina be as effective as the hip hop movement during this time? To examine this further, one can look at the predominant demographic of the hip hop audience. Would punk music be as appealing to the hip hop audience? Hip hop and rap are noted as having “offered definition, value, understanding, and a shared language and linguistic form to ghetto communities.” Referring back to the punk music movement in comparison to hip hop music, would the shared political agenda be enough to resonate with the different