hip-hop diplomacy

Through their music, Linaje Originarios seeks to address an issue that many indigenous cultures around the world are facing – the desire of younger generations to exchange their traditions, languages and lifestyles for life in urban areas where they have access to “modern” forms of culture, music and styles.

“Diplomacy and the Arts, Then and Now,” brought focus to the importance of government-sponsored tours by performers in international relations on Thursday. The seminar was sponsored by the Department of Romance Studies and the program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies Dorothy Ford Wiley fund.


Six international artists in North Carolina this week demonstrate that international diplomacy can come in many different forms. While many may imagine diplomats wearing business suits and sitting in conference rooms, these artists paint a drastically different picture.

April 11, 2015

The US government has used hip-hop as an unlikely foreign policy tool to reach youth and promote democracy abroad. In the mid-2000s, as the United States faced ongoing challenges in the Middle East, the State Department launched hip-hop tours and workshops throughout the Muslim world.

The number of foreign fighters who have flooded into Syria throughout the past three years now exceeds the total number of jihadists who fought invading Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s, according to a report by the Soufan Group.

The Next Level program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in association with the University of North Carolina's Department of Music, uses hip-hop as a tool to foster cross-cultural creative expression and exchange in diverse communities around the world.

July 17, 2014

In Patna, Bihar, students learn how to express themselves and the world around them through dance.

For half a century now, America's best diplomatic tool has been its music.  Embassies overseas still want American musicians to come for diplomatic reasons. But these days they're not asking for jazz — they're asking for hip-hop.