Made With Italy: The "Italian Touch" in American Hip-Hop Culture, 1973-1996

The lecture offers an original theoretical and methodological framework for mapping the impact of Italian modern style (the so-called “Made in Italy”) on the early years of hip-hop culture, notably between 1973 (the conventional date of the first hip-hop party) and 1996 (the year of Tupac’s passing). Recognizing the transatlantic circulation of “Italian” bodies (performers, entrepreneurs and characters), products (film, clothes, and goods) and other intangible items (gestures, dance styles, attitude etc.), Giuseppe Gatti maintains that Made in Italy had a profound impact on the visual manifestation of the hip-hop Foundational (1973-79) and Golden Age era (1980-96), operating as a symbolic mediator for the rise of a hip-hop “global nation-building” and, overall, for the demands of new lifestyles and expressive languages in American urban youth culture in that period. The lecture will shed new light on the study of the multiple exchanges between Italian cinema/fashion and the hip-hop generation, with particular attention to the role of the “Italian touch” on hip-hop’s early dance styles, lyrics and outfits in a transcultural perspective. Check below for introducer and presenter information.

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