Hip-Hop Rhetoric and Multimodal Digital Writing

Authored by: Regina Duthely

The Routledge Handbook of Digital Writing and Rhetoric

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138671362
eBook ISBN: 9781315518497
Adobe ISBN:


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Multimodal composing has created a new means of imagining communication and literacy in the twenty-first century. This expansion of the possibilities for what composition can be and do is a valuable transformation in contemporary writing ecologies. However, exploring digital and multimodal composing in the context of hip-hop literacies, and New Literacy Studies provides a richer and critically engaged means of writing and communicating in the digital public sphere. Hip-hop has always been multimodal, simultaneously deploying the written word, aurality, and visuals via music videos, dress, graffiti, and dance just to name a few. In Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age , Adam Banks rightly claims, “Hip Hop has disrupted the notion of a linear text and the ways the art form has placed a focus on the recycling, reuse, and repurposing of language and tools old and new” (20). The collaborative and communal act of creation within hip-hop provides a foundation for the current reading of multimodal and digital compositions. Hip-hop has long deployed the use of sampling and making something out of nothing using technology. The reimagining of text not as linear, but as a series of interwoven networks, a mixture of fragments used to create a new whole, a whole that can be redivided and reformed, is the creative potential of both hip-hop and digital composing techniques.

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