Close to the Edge: Interview With Author Sujatha Fernandes

Posted by Billyjam, December 6, 2011 09:26am | Post a Comment
Close to the Edge is Sujatha Fernandes' (left) recently published book on hip-hop culture. Like the two other books by this Australian born, former emcee, turned author and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Queens College, NY & the Graduate Center, City University of New York - Cuba Represent! Cuban Arts, State Power, And The Making of New Revolutionary Cultures and Who Can Stop the Drums? Urban Social Movements in Chávez’s Venezuela - Close to the Edge views hip-hop and its undeniable cultural impact from a very wide global perspective.

As someone who has travelled the world extensively as both a hip-hop artist and a journalist Fernandes is more than qualified to tackle this topic and as a result delivers a most engaging work that is part hip-hop tale and part travel guide. Being that these are two of my personal favorite things in life - traveling and listening to hip-hop, and that I really enjoyed reading her book I was psyched to be able to catch up and interview Fernandes who, from reading her book, realized that I know her first cousin back in Sydney Australia.

Amoeblog: What are some of the greatest offerings that been an on-the-go globetrotting hip-hop observer has given you?

Sujatha Fernandes: Traveling with hip hop was like wearing a badge that allowed me to avoid the tourist lane and check in to some less worn and usually more interesting paths. I had the luck that I arrived in each of the different cities in the book at a time when their respective hip hop cultures were at a peak, and I got to see and meet some real legends and characters in each place. There’s also nothing like the craziness of hip hop travel to make you profoundly reassess your life. When I found myself – a long-time supporter of the Cuban revolution – threatening a Cuban official by making reference to my American credentials, I knew I had to get a grip.

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