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Where You're At: Notes from the Frontline of a Hip-Hop Planet
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Where You're At: Notes from the Frontline of a Hip-Hop Planet

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  102 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A story of how hip hop conquered the globe and nobody noticed. This work explores the way how, through hip hop, the potent symbolism of black America has been acquired, used and subsumed by cultures on every continent to create a uniquely different form of globalism.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 3rd 2004 by Riverhead Trade (first published June 21st 2004)
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I know this isn't a well thought-out review, but wanted to get a few points out:

At first, I thought I was really going to like this book. The author travels around the world to several locations to compare hip-hop in these areas and how it affects the social landscape and possibility of social change. It's a great concept and idea, but Neate doesn't tie it together as well as he hopes (which is kind of the point of the book).

The intro, on how he fell in love with hip hop as a white kid in the UK
As Patrick Neate is seemingly eager to point out, hip-hop comprises more than just a musical genre. He outlines early on in his book Where You're At the nebulous four/five elements of hip-hop culture: emceeing, DJing, graffiti, break dancing, and sometimes consciousness. Where You're At concerns itself mainly with the social aspects of the culture as Neate travels across the world to provide a snapshot of how the genre has been appropriated and adapted in different countries. Spanning five citie ...more
"In the information age, mass media expanded and contracted at the same time. Global broadcasters pumped out homogenous material while niche magazines pitched to ever smaller demographics. But now we are entering the post-information age and information is not so much "niche" as "personal". At a level that remains in the realms of sci-fi for most of us, this means information tailored to our individual mores. But more practically and, for the moment, it means utterly individual; consumption."
I almost quit reading this book after the first 30 pages. The author seemed like an annoying, somewhat arrogant jerk who didn't know shit about hiphop. His writing style seemed pretentious and self-indulgent, and I wasn't having it. But I kept going, and I'm SO glad I did, because in the end, it turned out to be an absolutely fantastic, fascinating book on hiphop around the world, as well as one of the best examples of academic writing for a mass audience that I've ever seen.

Full review:
I read this after reading 'City of Tiny Lights' and was very disappointed. I understand that this book is, by no means, in the same style as 'Tiny Lights' but I figured that, given how much I enjoyed reading that book, I would enjoy Neate's other works. This book intends to be a history of hip-hop in relation to Neate's life and his experiences. An interesting concept and one that appeals to me on paper but, for whatever reason, it just didn't work for me.
A fun look at how hip hop has been embraced by different cultures, how its power as a political or cultural movement is in its maleability, a nice ethnographic/journalistic survey of different places, different people and also different issues that people, especially youth, face in europe, south africa, south america, japan and the United States.

a pretty engaging glimpse of hip hop in different parts of the world with little historical detours along the way. i got kind of fatigued from the type of writing and repetitious themes by the end of the book though.
Rushay Booysen
nice read i was honored to receive a copy of the book when it dropped good insight into Patricks journey to several countries and his discovery to the hip hop scene.I would advise you to get a copy
a must read for anyone who cares about hip hop and its impact on the world.
I love this book.
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