The Weapon of the Future

7 Oct 2014 // 1:30 AM

Beats, Rhymes and Jihad

Hip-hop appeals to those who feel powerless and disenfranchised, which is why ISIS looks to hip-hop communities as potential recruiting grounds.

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The Music That Sprouts Between Empires: Ukrainian Culture Amidst Conflict

Ukraine was once considered the musical heartland of the Russian Empire, its culture thriving between the cracks of various powerful and competing empires.

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(The Limits of) Football, Samba, and Commonality

The 2014 FIFA World Cup theme song highlights one of the worst trends in a global society: culture boiled down to a sort of triumphant universal human-ness.

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Bollywood and the Ballot: India’s Shimmery Election

Bollywood stars are essential to the cultural identity of India, but their involvement in the 2014 election have some questioning the wisdom of the "Bollywood-ification" of politics.

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The Sound of Venezuela’s Restlessness

As protests continue to rage in Venezuela, a traditional Venezuelan spirit is on display. It is thoughtful and reflective, yet opaque. It might be best understood through the music.

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Pussy Riot Isn’t the Only Band Rocking on Russia

From clever Soviet-era symphonies to current black market recordings, Russian musicians have a long history of working around the state's culture of censorship.

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The Sounds of Upwardly Mobile Africa

While Sub-Saharan Africa is not the first place associated with cutting edge innovation, its people have a long history of adapting, adopting, and re-imagining ideas from abroad.

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Can an Afghanistan Songbird Be Forever Outlawed?

Afghan musicians have always been adept at finding ways to preserve and advance their music regardless of the political or economic climate.

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Homesickness: Refugees and the Balm That Is Music

By reaffirming refugees' cultural identity while simultaneously offering inroads into their new home, music has helped a number of displaced peoples carve out a place of their own.

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Zimbabwe and the Beauty in the Struggle

Throughout the political, economic, and social trials that have dominated and threatened to decimate one of the world’s most vibrant cultures, musicians have stood fast—drawing on ancient traditions to give voice to the hopes, fears, and frustrations of the people of Zimbabwe.

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Latin Music Is American Music

For more than a century, immigrants—particularly those from Latin America—have helped forge the cultural identity of the United States. In so doing they've spiced up America's food and thankfully, its music, too.

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Hip-Hop, Hashtags, & Hope: The Power of Rap & Social Media in Arab Protests

For the past three years, Arab world dictators have been confronted by a new generation of tech savvy youth armed with hip-hop and Twitter.

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//Mixed media

The Hills Are Alive, But Nobody Else Is in 'The Happiness of the Katakuris'

// Short Ends and Leader

"Happiness of the Katakuris is one of Takashi Miike's oddest movies, and that's saying something.

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