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Break Beats in the BronxRediscovering Hip-Hop's Early Years$
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Joseph C., Jr. Ewoodzie

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469632759

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469632759.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 17 October 2019

Creating Conventions

Creating Conventions

(p.81) 3 Creating Conventions
Break Beats in the Bronx

Joseph C. Ewoodzie Jr.

University of North Carolina Press

If Part One of this book described the beginnings of a new entity, this second part describes how it coalesced. If the former showed how sites of difference developed and how proto-boundaries formed, the latter discusses how a certain set of relations and proto-boundaries became longer lasting. Chapter 3 argues that boundaries become more durable when an internal logic develops within them. It shows that some conventions were intentionally introduced from within the scene; some came from inside the scene but were the result of accidents; some came from outside but were intentionally incorporated; and some were imposed on the scene from changes in the surrounding context. The empirical details of these arguments about the making of hip hop include an exploration of how scratching was invented; how security crews became important; how MCing emerged as a vital part of South Bronx parties; how hustlers became part of the scene; and how DJs and MCs competed with one another for recognition in the South Bronx. Further, I show how, with the entrée of new actors, certain attributes of the emerging entity became standard while others died off.

Keywords:   symbolic boundaries, Howard Becker, South Bronx Security Crews, DJ AJ, Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, The Furious Five, MCing, Love Bug Starski

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