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July 02, 2008


Kiko Jones

My point was that the more nuanced the local versions are, the more discerning their fans will be, hence less willing to fall for any old thing, regardless of its origins. There's a reason why unknown rock, jazz or hip-hop artists, travelling thru the Old Continenet, do WAY BETTER in Eastern Europe than they do in the UK, for instance.


Great entry !

Nas would definitely make a worthy ambassador.


Yeah, "hearts and minds" is def making a comeback at the higher-ed levels, with the whole field of public diplomacy. MTV is partnering with Fulbright to sponsor an annual (if very tiny) flotilla of newly-minted undergrads to do music research overseas (see http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-MTV-Fulbright.html or http://www.mtvufulbright.com/.

The students blog, and one guy actually uses the phrase "hearts and minds," in a paean to the "grace of Cambodian dance" (http://www.mtvufulbright.com/, scroll to April 4).

Indeed, hip-hop scores 2 out of 5. And your argument about credibility--being on the down end of a slippery slope--hit home with a new low type of "thunk" this morning, when I got an announcement for a new fellowship--the Laura W. Bush Traveling Fellowship, sponsored by UNESCO (see http://www.state.gov/p/io/unesco/103476.htm ). "Oh goody," I thought, "where can we send her? I'll write to that." But it turned out to be for undergrads...

I remember seeing a v. interesting doc about 10 years ago in SFO, about the soundtracks soldiers listen to. It was scored, and produced, in omnibus fashion, and had a lot of emphasis on the Balkans and the PKO, if I remember right...


ted swedenburg had some interesting -- and, i'd say, pessimistic -- thoughts about hip-hop ambassadorship recently wrt mtv arabia:

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