Wednesday, September 07, 2016

"More Salad Bowl Than Melting Pot"

"The passage of the 1965 Hart-Celler immigration bill transformed the face of immigration to America. The disproportionate allocation of quotas to the U.K., Ireland, and Germany was removed, beckoning immigrants from everywhere else to America's coasts. The number of Caribbean-born foreign immigrants doubled over the next ten years. Among these were Grandmaster Flash (born in Bridgetown, Barbados) and the family of Afrika Bambaataa (born to parents of Jamaican and Bajan descent) who along with DJ Kool Herc would form the three wise men who heralded the birth of hip hop. The descendants of this wave of immigration from the West Indies would include hip-hop luminaries like Busta Rhymes who has made songs in patois, Phife Dawg whose rhymes are littered with nods to his Caribbean roots, down to Biggie Smalls all of whom would occasionally put on their parents' accents into their songs."

Anakwa Dwamena at The New Republic discusses the immigrant roots of New York hip-hop.

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