Say somethin' positive, well positive ain't where I live
I live around the corner from West Hell
Two blocks from South Shit and once in a jail cell
The sun never shined on my side of the street, see?
(Naughty By Nature, ‘Ghetto Bastard (Everything's Gonna Be Alright)’, 1991, Isba/Tommy Boy Records)
If you're from Compton you know it's the 'hood where it's good
(Compton's Most Wanted, ‘Raised in Compton’, 1991, Epic/Sony)
Hip hop's capacity to circumvent the constraints and limiting social conditions of young Afro-American and Latino youths has been examined and celebrated by cultural critics and scholars in various contexts since its inception in the mid-1970s. For instance, the 8 February 1999 issue of US magazine Time featured a cover photo of ex-Fugees and five-time Grammy award winner Lauryn Hill with the accompanying headline ‘Hip-Hop Nation: After 20 Years – how it's changed America’. Over the years, however, there has been little attention granted to the implications of hip hop's spatial logics. Time's coverage is relatively standard in perceiving the hip hop nation as a historical construct rather than a geo-cultural amalgamation of personages and practices that are spatially dispersed.