The Fifth Element: a Study on the Common Ground Where Hip-hop Meets Basketball
Jong, J.B. de
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Hip-hop, as a culture, distinguishes four building blocks upon which it is built: turntablism, breakdance, graffiti and rap. These building blocks are unquestioned within the hip-hop community. However, basketball is often named as the fifth building block, the fifth element. Ever since Walt Frazier became NBA champion with the New York Knicks and DJ Kool Herc threw his first party in 1973, hip-hop and basketball are connected. Frazier signed a deal with Puma for exclusive signature shoes. Later on, Puma would become the official sponsor of Beat Street (1984), a movie about hip-hop culture. This is one of many connections between the sport and the music. This master thesis explores the connections between basketball and hip-hop and studies the reception basketball culture got in The Netherlands from the early nineties on. It looks at the role basketball culture played in The Netherlands and how hip-hop culture played a role as a part of basketball culture. It contains interviews with basketball players, Dutch as well as American, professional and amateur, who have an extraordinary interest in music, and describes what role music plays in their lives. It connects the experiences the players have to concepts like musical affordances, agency and lived religion.