Jan 262011

Of course ‘style,’ including hip-hop style, has long been integrated into the capitalist marketplace — and there could be no capitalist market at all without very particular organizations of appropriations of copia abundance. But to see style, and for that matter ‘copying,’ as mere epiphenomena of capitalist production is to invert things, and to radically underestimate the power of these forces. The power of hip-hop, and the five elements, which are five ‘styles’ of being in the world, constitute five types of magic, if you like — five ways of transforming things, and therefore five ways of changing what gets called a ‘person’ and what gets called a ‘world.’ I would like to think, though I can’t prove it, that folk cultures have always had this power, have always discovered it for themselves, insofar as folk cultures are always cultures to whom nothing belongs, from whom everything is taken.

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