2nd School of Social Science

Research Conference

April 3-4, 2019

Ateneo de Manila University

Quezon City, Philippines

PRESENTATIONS by the EPAPC SCHOLARS

CONSCIOUS RAP: SUB-CULTURAL CAPITAL AS A PLATFORM FOR MEANINGFUL SOCIAL CHANGE

Lara T. Mendoza, Ateneo de Manila University

Hip-hop is considered to be a culture of the streets and is regarded with contempt in a society painfully divided by socio-economic class demarcations. My presentation will focus on conscious rap, hip-hop music that promotes an ethos fueled by a desire for social change in a world rife with injustice. In particular I will focus on rappers who embrace street culture as an art form that spawns awareness oriented towards social transformation. Hip-hop culture is premised on resistance, ostensibly against capitalistic-driven transactions that smother the creative impetus of underground artists. Rap music naturally embraces the angst and anger of marginalised groups and voices. Conscious rappers use resistance music to challenge the young to transcend the expectations and constraints of civil, normative society that prescribes how one must comport oneself in a respectable manner.

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My presentation seeks to take a screenshot of an intriguing wave of social consciousness among the youth that has always been there but has also always been consigned to a peripheral if not maligned space dismissed as “kajejehan” or “kabaduyan”. Given this marked condescension, how do conscious rappers grapple with societal issues of injustice, crippling poverty, economic inequities, and the dearth of institutional integrity and rule of law? As a musicologist trained in the humanities, the question of activating music for societal change has revealed answers framed by the social sciences. Ultimately, this presentation is a study in the emancipatory power of an interdisciplinary perspective steeped in both the humanities and the social sciences.

Ethnographies of Philippine Auditory Popular Cultures

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