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Street Scriptures

Between God and Hip-Hop

This book explores an important aspect of hip-hop that is rarely considered: its deep entanglement with spiritual life.
The world of hip-hop is saturated with religion, but rarely is that element given serious consideration. In Street Scriptures, Alejandro Nava focuses our attention on this aspect of the music and culture in a fresh way, combining his profound love of hip-hop, his passion for racial and social justice, and his deep theological knowledge. Street Scriptures offers a refreshingly earnest and beautifully written journey through hip-hop’s deep entanglement with the sacred.
Nava analyzes the religious heartbeat in hip-hop, looking at crosscurrents of the sacred and profane in rap, reggaeton, and Latinx hip-hop today. Ranging from Nas, Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Lauryn Hill, and Cardi B to St. Augustine and William James, Nava examines the ethical-political, mystical-prophetic, and theological qualities in hip-hop, probing the pure sonic and aesthetic signatures of music, while also diving deep into the voices that invoke the spirit of protest. The result is nothing short of a new liberation theology for our time, what Nava calls a “street theology.”

Table of Contents

Chapter One    A Street Theology: Between God and Hip-Hop
Chapter Two   A Brief Sonic History of Hip-Hop
Chapter Three Prophets and Emcees: Righteous Rappers
Chapter Four   The Return of God in Hip-Hop: Kendrick Lamar’s Street Theology
Chapter Five   The Dirty Latin South: Breaking, Reggaeton, and the Rise of the Global South
Chapter Six     Native Tongues

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