• Jim Vernon


This chapter introduces the book’s central thesis: that Hip Hop’s early history unfolds in a manner remarkably similar to the evolution of artistic creation in general in Hegel’s Aesthetics. It explicates art’s “highest vocation” as the most fundamental mechanism by which a people initially and collectively raises itself from a state of radical alienation into the self-determining, higher spheres of actualized freedom, in the absence of other determinate state structures upon which to draw. Challenges from the infamous thesis that art “remains a thing of the past” are answered through Hegel’s account of the unjust social conditions that may force art to return, and Vernon argues that Hip Hop’s emergence as broad-based and varied aesthetic culture can be understood as just such a resurgence.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jim Vernon
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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