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Journal Article

'Cheaper than a CD, Plus We Really Mean It': Bay Area Underground Hip Hop Tapes as Subcultural Artefacts

Anthony Kwame Harrison
Popular Music
Vol. 25, No. 2 (May, 2006), pp. 283-301
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3877563
Page Count: 19
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
'Cheaper than a CD, Plus We Really Mean It': Bay Area Underground Hip Hop Tapes as Subcultural Artefacts
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Abstract

This article looks at audiocassette tapes that are produced and circulated within the Bay Area underground hip hop scene as subcultural artefacts through which an understanding of the key activities, ideologies and sensibilities that mark subcultural identity can be grasped. Using du Gay's circuit of culture (1997) as a template for organising ethnographic data, the article demonstrates the ways in which subcultural meanings are encoded into the activities surrounding the commodification of underground hip hop cassettes. Ultimately, it argues for a reading of audiocassette tapes as unique technologies that simultaneously embrace the progressive politics of subcultural inclusion while defending subcultural boundaries against mainstream co-optation.

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