Just Be Real: Creating and Communicating Hip-Hop Authenticity in the Bronx and Beyond

By Kevin Kosanovich.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 5, 2014 $US5.00

This article examines the history and purpose of early hip-hop party flyers between 1977-1983. Extant hip-hop scholarship locates the flyer’s purpose within discursive narratives of 1970s Bronx urban decline and the emergence of hip-hop, deploying terms such as “abandonment” and “isolation.” Identifying the development of a unique cultural aesthetic, hip-hop flyers reached a geographically disparate audience advertising hip-hop as a place and space of cultural and economic power. Flyer artist Buddy Esquire and his peers’ creative output between 1977-1983 provided a critical purchase to navigate the asymmetries of power between the places and spaces of hip-hop’s emergence while advertising and buttressing hip-hop’s authenticity in the culture industries. Buddy Esquire’s flyer art provides a bridge between hip-hop’s Bronx emergence in 1973 and expansion into the culture industries by 1983.

Keywords: Spaces, Mobility, Marketing, Material and Immaterial Flows

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 4, Issue 3, September 2014, pp.53-58. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 5, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 192.740KB)).

Kevin Kosanovich

PhD Candidate, American Studies, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, USA