Strange Samplin': Nina Simone and Her Hip Hop Children

March 14, 2013

Assistant Professor of English Salamishah Tillet discusses the significance of Nina Simone. Once called the “chanteuse” of the civil rights movement by Stokley Carmichael, Simone has recently resurfaced as the ultimate icon of black radicalism for contemporary hip hop artists. Considering the widespread interpolation of her music in the predominately masculine hip hop culture, Tillet will discuss how Simone is used as a trope. She is used as musical material that signals a particular historical moment but undergoes transformation as contemporary African American hip hop artists invoke her in response to the social forces of their times, thereby complicating debates about black women’s invisibility within mainstream hip hop culture.