Article written by 2012 DPDF Mediated Futures: Globalization and Historical Territories Fellow Kyle Jones, featured in Ohio State University’s Latin American Cultural Studies Journal alter/nativas:
While ethnographic and historiographic research on hip hop has predominantly focused on large metropolises, less attention has been paid to smaller regional cities and the specific ways hip hop travels between urban locales. This paper examines the movements of youth and hip hop practices in Peru, tracing moments of exchange and interaction to contribute an alternative perspective for understanding how hip hop has taken shape across Peru. Such an approach extends the scholarship on hip hop’s socio-spatial dynamics and provides a rich lens through which to understand the ways particular hip hop practices and social forms emerge. Situating the experiences and recollections of hip hoppers from several cities in 1990s and 2000s Peru, while drawing parallels with other forms of expression, also illustrates how hip hop’s histories and circulations reflect longer-standing patterns of mobility, cultural appropriation, and the centrality of expressive forms in navigating changing circumstances of Peruvian urban life.