Hip Hop Research: Towards an Annotated Bibliography

Greg Dimitriadis: Performing Identity/Performing Culture book

Greg Dimitriadis: Performing Identity/Performing Culture [Revised Edition]

In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm kind of an idea guy with way too many ideas. But I am getting better at maintaining core projects while keeping a small array of secondary projects in the long term mix.

CR: Library Innovation Blog is intended to be a core project but I haven't dug as deeply as I had hoped to by now. Still, I'm enjoying what I'm doing and it's off to a good start. A related project that's been moved to the secondary back burner for the moment is Hip Hop Research: Towards an Annotated Bibliography, a blog with a special focus on academic monographs featuring hip hop as a central theme.

Marc Lamont Hill: Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life book

Marc Lamont Hill – Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life

I launched Hip Hop Research as the first step towards an annotated bibliography to be developed as a reference work for academic libraries. I recently made contact with a library publisher via a woman who requested that folks send initial ideas prior to a book proposal. We'll see where that goes but, no matter the validity of the topic, hip hop content often seems to throw a wrench in people's perceptions, especially if their knowledge is limited to what they see in mass media.

To be honest, now that I'm reviving my search for a library position (at the worst possible time, of course!), I launched the project as much to validate my own work in hip hop media as to help validate the work of hip hop researchers in academic settings. I really do worry about what people think when they find out I've been a web publisher focused on hip hop for the last ten years, full time for the last five.

Given the response I've gotten from folks I've known who are from similar demographics as those doing the hiring in most of the situations for which I apply, I really have to wonder what potential employers think when they see the words, "hip hop."

Yvonne Bynoe: Encyclopedia of Rap and Hip-Hop Culture book

Yvonne Bynoe – Encyclopedia of Rap and Hip-Hop Culture

It's funny, I've learned so much doing hip hop related projects that I would never take any of that back, but I do wonder how it looks to people I don't know, inundated with too many applications and looking for easy ways to pare down the list.

But, hey, as a 50 year old white man with a long history of activism and interest in African American culture, I feel like I'm so much more connected to the living reality of black people now than I ever was when I was trying to connect as a left/lib activist and artist. I have real friends now who are black and who I know through shared interests rather than African American connections who I've cultivated as part of a larger agenda, though I say that meaning no disrespect to folks finding other ways to connect.

To be perfectly frank, if getting a job meant giving up the one thing that has helped me more than any other to understand black culture in contemporary America, then I'll keep forging an independent path. But I'd love to bring what I know into an academic setting as a reference librarian since that may well be the best venue for my wide ranging interests and love of knowledge. Wish me luck!

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!