Born and raised in Chicago, Jessica Disu, also known as FM Supreme, uses language as a tool for positive change. She’s a three-time international performing poet, artist, activist and educator who describes herself as a “humanitarian rap artist.”
For this special issue, the editors seek submissions that examine how God, religion, and spirituality have been discussed by Hip Hop artists and to think expansively about how Hip Hop has historically and contemporaneously emphasized the experiences, opportunities and realities of marginalized communities within these complimentary, contradictory, and at times, mutually-supportive contexts.
The underground is a multi-faceted concept in African American culture. Peterson explores a variety of "underground" concepts at the intersections of African American literature and hip-hop culture, using Richard Wright, KRS-One, Thelonious Monk, and the tradition of the Underground Railroad, among other examples.
Michael Brandon McCormick is a PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University. He presented at the Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race at Birkbeck University in London. The title of his presentation was entitled "The Preachers and the Powers that BET: Black Activist Clergy and the Quest for Social Justice in the Era of Hip Hop."
My reconciling of the sacred and profane does not however limit religion in hip hop’s ability to matter in peoples’ everyday lives. Rappers have long gestured that hip hop culture is their religion – and that hip hop has, above all, saved their lives. While churches struggle to keep young people in the pews, this demographic too, overwhelmingly clings to hip hop, unapologetically.