Underground Rap as Religion

A Theopoetic Examination of a Process Aesthetic Religion

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Jon Ivan Gill
Routledge Studies in Hip Hop and Religion
  • New York: 
    , June
     190 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Underground rap is largely a subversive, grassroots, and revolutionary movement in underground hip-hop, tending to privilege creative freedom as well as progressive and liberating thoughts and actions. This book contends that many practitioners of underground rap have absorbed religious traditions and ideas, and implement, critique, or abandon
them in their writings. This in turn creates processural mutations of God that coincide with and speak to the particular context from which they originate.

Utilising the work of scholars like Monica Miller and Alfred North Whitehead, Gill uses a secular religious methodology to put forward an aesthetic philosophy of religion for the rap portion of underground hip-hop. Drawing from Whiteheadian process thought, a theopoetic
argument is made. Namely, that it is not simply the case that is God the "poet of the world", but rather rap can, in fact, be the poet (creator) of its own form of quasi-religion.

This is a unique look at the religious workings and implications of underground rap and hip hop. As such, it will be of keen interest to scholars of Religious Studies, Hip-Hop Studies and Process Philosophy and Theology.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Jon Ivan Gill is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Gustavus Adolphus College, USA, Associate Philosophy Faculty at Norco College, USA, and Cross-Community Coordinator at the Center for Process Studies, USA. He has written multiple articles on Afrofuturism, religion, hip-hop, philosophy, philosophy of race, poststructuralism, atheism, and creative writing. He is also co-owner of Serious Cartoons Records and Tapes in San Bernardino, Ca. with Michael Adame, and is a member of the Chicago rap collective Tomorrow Kings and the La Puente, Ca. rap collective Echoes of Oratory Musik.


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