"Simply one of the best works of popular music scholarship I have ever read. Blending close analysis of specific musical examples with sophisticated social theory and nuanced historical context, Kajikawa explores not only what music does in terms of race, butperhaps more importanthow it does it. This book is a must-read not only for hip hop fans and scholars but for anyone who wants to understand the relationship between music and identity."Joseph G. Schloss, author of Making Beats: The Art of Sample-Based Hip-Hop
"A tour de force, an insightful, original, and immensely generative book. Through clear, concise, and convincing analyses of iconic rap songs, Kajikawa teaches us how racial difference is re-created every day through sonic practices that make our identities heard as well as seen and forged as well as found."George Lipsitz, author of How Racism Takes Place
"Kajikawa does what I have not seen before in hip hop scholarship. By combining archival research, ethnography, critical theory, history, and musical analysis, he is able to illuminate the cultural power and sonic subtleties of the music in a way that few others have. A major scholarly achievement that will change the way we hear and think about hip hop."Mark Katz, author of Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ
"Loren Kajikawa returns us to the sound of rap! While thoroughly conversant with the sprawling body of trenchant critical work that addresses hip hop and rap as powerful social movements, Kajikawa returns us to musical sound in all its dense referentiality. He reconfigures formal musical analysis by infusing it with the lessons of critical race theory, and the result is stunning. I won’t ever hear breakbeats in the same way."Deborah Wong, author of Speak It Louder: Asian Americans Making Music
‘Hamilton’ can inspire us to be a better nation
It seems like ages since the musical “Hamilton” debuted in an off-Broadway theater in February 2015. But the blockbuster production has become no less relevant.
The musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, hero of the Revolutionary War and the United States’ first treasury secretary, using a hip-hop score and primarily black and Latino actors. In many ways, its remix of the Founding Fathers’ story resonates more loudly than ever amid talk of border walls, immigration bans and the richest presidential Cabinet in history...
Hip-hop and 'Hamilton' take center stage for Quack Chats
Around the O online
The hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” gets praise for its focus on diversity and inclusion, but UO musicologist Loren Kajikawa cautions fans to hold their applause — at least some of it.
Kajikawa credits the musical with drawing attention to racism by retelling the story of the nation’s founders through marginalized groups, but he argues that its narrative overlooks an economic inequality that continues to limit many Americans. Kajikawa will address this discrepancy in his upcoming Quack Chats pub talk, “Listening to Hamilton in the Age of Trump,” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, in the Erb Memorial Union’s Falling Sky Pizzeria.
Elly Vandegrift, Daniel HoSang receive teaching honors
Around the O online
“Professor HoSang’s lectures are consistently fun, intellectually challenging and original,” said Loren Kajikawa, associate professor in the School of Music and Dance.
Compton commodified: NWA was always a blend of fiction and reality
The Rock River Times
Last week, Dr Dre released Compton: The Soundtrack – his first album in 16 years – with cover art that features the iconic Hollywood sign transformed to read C-O-M-P-T-O-N.
The timing, title and cover imagery of the album coincide with the new biopic Straight Outta Compton, a film that details the rise and fall of Dr Dre’s former rap group NWA (Niggaz Wit Attitudes), which, along with Dre, included Eazy-E, MC Ren, DJ Yella and Ice Cube...
Prominent scholars in the field of racial justice to visit the UO
Around the O online
On Thursday, June 4, at 4:30 p.m., Lipsitz will join Loren Kajikawa, an assistant professor of musicology, in a public talk about race, music and politics in Room 110, Knight Law Center. Lipsitz, a professor of sociology and black studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the author of 11 books on the histories and politics of racism, popular culture, music and social movements.