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  • Introduction: Earthquake Music and the Politics of Conversion

    Christina Zanfagna

    Chapter from the book: Zanfagna, C. 2017. Holy Hip Hop in the City of Angels.


    The introduction outlines the book’s framework and offers a brief history and explanation of the emergence of holy hip hop and gospel rap in Los Angeles in relation to multiple black sonic diasporas. Certain gospel rappers preferred to call their music “earthquake music”—a term that links music, geography, and conversion as it reveals how natural disaster, civil unrest, and continued urbanization in Los Angeles formed a unique terrain for the emergence of devoutly religious subjects in the late twentieth century. In their search for Zion, holy hip hoppers enacted conversion as a religious transformation to Christianity, a musical transposition from secular rap to gospel rap, and as a spatial tactic of creatively repurposing the urban environment.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Zanfagna, C. 2017. Introduction: Earthquake Music and the Politics of Conversion. In: Zanfagna, C, Holy Hip Hop in the City of Angels. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.35.a

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    Published on Aug. 29, 2017