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  • Roads to Zion: Hip Hop’s Search for the City Yet to Come

    Christina Zanfagna

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


    Chapter 5 returns to the broader themes of conversion and black liberation through an exploration of the multiple “Roads to Zion” that crosscut gospel hip hop’s diasporas. Polyvalent renderings of Zion in Los Angeles–based holy hip hop intersect with the spiritual traversals and tracks of rap stars such as MC Hammer, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Lecrae, and Kendrick Lamar. These intersecting quests for Zion through Christian, Muslim, and Rastafarian spiritual and musical sensibilities are creating new mappings of black diasporic religiosity. They unveil how conversion—as a transformative practice in the lives of hip hoppers of various religious affiliations—is allowing black artists to engage with key black cultural entities, from African American churches to hip hop scenes to Black Lives Matter.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Zanfagna, C. 2017. Roads to Zion: Hip Hop’s Search for the City Yet to Come. In: Zanfagna, C, Holy Hip Hop in the City of Angels. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.35.f

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    Published on Aug. 29, 2017