Wild Style: Hip-hop, Cable TV, and the Urban Antinomies of the Interactive Media of the 1980s

Authors: Clayton Rosati*, Bowling Green State University
Topics: Cultural Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: Hip-hop, Cable TV, New York City, Warner QUBE
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Maryland C, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


By the 1980s two critiques of mass media and mass culture had emerged. On one hand, the DIY and audience-centered cultural innovations of hip-hop filled in political and geographical relevance for black and latino communities isolated in abandoned areas in New York and other urban centers. On the other, the Warner QUBE's interactive cable TV system began serving suburban communities in Columbus, OH, promising to get their audiences out of the passive mode and "into the action." This paper explores what aspects of 80s life unified these vastly different geographies in a criticism of mass culture. In doing this it develops theories race, urban development, and interactivity to look at those geographical histories of urban poverty and suburban opulence as linked and mutually constitutive.

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