Sampling and Remixing Blackness in Hip-hop Theater and Performance

Nicole Hodges Persley
Explores expressions of blackness in Hip-hop performance by non-African American artists in the U.S. and Britain ?


Sampling and Remixing Blackness is a timely and accessible book that examines the social ramifications of cultural borrowing and personal adaptation of Hip-hop culture by non-Black and non-African American Black artists in theater and performance. In a cultural moment where Hip-hop theater hits such as Hamilton offer glimpses of Black popular culture to non-Black people through musical soundtracks, GIFs, popular Hip-hop music, language, clothing, singing styles and embodied performance, people around the world are adopting a Blackness that is at once connected to African American culture--and assumed and shed by artists and consumers as they please. As Black people around the world live a racial identity that is not shed, in a cultural moment of social unrest against anti-blackness, this book asks how such engagements with Hip-hop in performance can be both dangerous and a space for finding cultural allies. Featuring the work of some of the visionaries of Hip-hop theater including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sarah Jones and Danny Hoch, this book explores the work of groundbreaking Hip-hop theater and performance artists who have engaged Hip-hop's Blackness through popular performance. The book challenges how we understand the performance of race, Hip-hop and Blackness in the age of Instagram, TikTok and Facebook. In a cultural moment where racial identity is performed through Hip-hop culture's resistance to the status quo and complicity in maintaining it, Hodges Persley asks us to consider who has the right to claim Hip-hop's blackness when blackness itself is a complicated mixtape that offers both consent and resistance to transgressive and inspiring acts of performance.

Nicole Hodges Persley is Associate Professor of American Studies and African & African American Studies at The University of Kansas.

Praise / Awards

  • “Hodges Persley’s passion for Hip Hop as a cultural aesthetic and methodology is second only to the fascinating case studies she analyzes. Like no other scholar before her, her multimodal engagement of Hip Hop pushes the field of theater studies and race to new heights.”
    E. Patrick Johnson, Northwestern University
  • "The book succeeds in generating a blend of personal anecdotes alongside robust scholarly critique to boost readability. ... Hodges Persley adds a worthwhile contribution to the evolving realm of hip hop theater studies, much of which has ballooned in recent years amid the introduction of Hamilton to Broadway and subsequently to Disney+."
    Ethnic and Racial Studies

News, Reviews, Interviews

Read: Interview with Nicole Hodges Persley in KC Studio | 09/06/2022

Product Details

  • 320 pages.
  • 16 illustrations.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2021
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-12961-4

  • EPUB: Adobe Digital Editions e-book (DRM Protected)

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