Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture

Current Call For Submissions:

The Words Beats and Life: A Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture is seeking submission for our Winter 2015 issue:

Call for Papers: The Brazil Issue

Hip-hop has grown into a multilingual, multiethnic, intergenerational, global yet localized and regional collection of cultural expressions. In this global hip-hop reality, few scenes are bigger than Brazil. Since the early 90s, Brazilian hip-hop has had a significant musical presence in the country, especially in cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, where in the favelas colorful graffiti decorates every spare surface and hip-hop beats dominate the soundscape. Like the first artists out of New York City, hip-hop in Brazil was born out of 1980s favela street parties, where DJs played the latest American funk and soul records to largely Afro-Brazilian crowds and young people began rapping as a way to express the economic and social problems of their neighborhoods.

Today, many celebrate Brazilian hip-hop as the antithesis of the multi-million dollar industry of the United States. And yet, while an important segment of Brazil’s hip-hop scene continues to emphasize socially conscious messages and favela realism (especially in São Paulo), hip-hop has also diversified and spread across the country. While Rio de Janeiro has become known for baile funk’s party style, artists (which now increasingly include women as well) in Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Salvador and other cities have experimented with various musical styles including Afro-beat, reggae, samba, and electronic to create new sounds, dances, artwork, and movements.

This special issue of Words Beats & Life aims to represent the vast diversity of hip-hop expressions in Brazil as well as the unique and significant history of this countrywide phenomenon. We seek well-researched essays, between 3,000-8,000 words including citations, pertaining to hip-hop and hip-hop related movements in Brazil. We are also soliciting personal essays, book reviews, interviews, artwork, poetry, and photography for the issue. 

Due date: April 15, 2014.

Please send all inquires to guest editor Melissa Castillo-Garsow, American Studies & African American Studies, Yale University;


Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture is a peer-reviewed, hybrid periodical of art and hip-hop studies published twice a year and devotes its pages to both emerging and established intellectuals and artists. The journal is committed to nurturing and showcasing the creative talents and expertise of the field in a layout that is uniquely hip-hop inspired. We publish issues twice a year with the intention of serving as a platform where the work of scholars and artists can appear in dialogue with one another. Since 2002, Words Beats & Life has devoted its pages to both emerging and established intellectuals and artists. As the premier resource for hip-hop theory and practice, we hope that the scholarship we publish will serve as a resource for the field of hip-hop studies and the work of hip-hop non-profits, helping each to elevate to the next phase of their respective growth in America and around the globe.

WBL developed the journal as a venue to publish up-and-coming and established scholars from around the world writing about hip-hop culture and community. In the inaugural issue, we featured the work of renowned publisher and spoken word artist, Jessica Care Moore, and Mark Anthony Neal, cultural critic and scholar. Today, the journal is the world’s only peer reviewed journal dedicated to the subject of hip-hop culture. It is used in numerous hip-hop and popular culture studies courses around the United States.

Subscriptions and Back Issues

For questions about subscriptions and back issues, please contact or by phone: (202) 667-1192.


For all queries concerning possible submissions, interview ideas, etc., please e-mail

For visual artists, graphic designers and illustrators interested in collaborating on future issues, please contact WBL’s Art Director, Mia DuVall, at or by phone: (202) 667-1192.


Contributors to Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture express their own opinions, which should not be interpreted as the official views of any organization with which they are affiliated. The views expressed in the journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Words Beats & Life, Inc. With exception of fair use, no part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means either wholly or in part without prior written permission of Words Beats & Life, Inc. If you intend to use this publication for educational purposes, please contact us. Manuscripts, artwork and photographs can be accepted only with the understanding that neither the organization nor its agency accept liability for loss or damage.

For detailed information, terms and conditions, quotations and international inquiries, please e-mail or call (202) 667-1192.


Scholarly research papers: 3,000 words (minimum) to 8,000 words (maximum) (includes endnotes and reference list)
Critical essays: 1,500 words-3,500 words (maximum)
Scholarly reviews: 2,000 words (books, albums, films)
Editorials: 1,500 words (maximum)
Prose: 3,500 words (maximum; memoirs, narratives, fiction, etc.)
Poetry: 6 poems, author bio and photo
Artwork: 7-10 pieces, artist bio and photo (PDF, JPEG, TIFF)
Interviews: 1,500 words (maximum)

Authors wishing to submit manuscripts below or exceeding these guidelines must consult with the editor-in-chief prior to submitting work.


Manuscripts for scholarly research papers should be typed and double spaced with at least one-inch margins. They should be prepared for anonymous reviewing, with any self-identifying references removed. If a cover sheet including identifying information is sent, this must be a separate document/file.

For documentation, punctuation, capitalization and other style formatting, Words Beats & Life follows the APA style guide. This style calls for a References section, with parenthetical in-text citations of author/year of publication/page.

Authors must check, correct and bring manuscripts up to date before final submission. Authors should verify facts, names of people, places and dates, and double-check all direct quotations and entries in the References list.


Notes will appear as endnotes at the end of scholarly articles, but the numerical sequence runs throughout the article. These should be kept to a minimum (not normally more than twelve) and be identified by a superscript numeral. Please avoid using automatic footnote/endnote functions; simply append the endnotes to the end of the article.


Illustrations, photographs and other graphics can be included with an indication of placement in the text. Authors are responsible for obtaining permissions for all copyrighted materials. Sources must be indicated. All illustrations, etc. should be accompanied by a caption and an acknowledgement to the copyright holder.

Any illustrations, etc. submitted electronically should be at least 300 dpi (600 dpi is preferred) in .jpeg or .tiff format.

Author(s) Note

A brief note on the author is required, including name, title, institutional affiliation and contact information (preferably an e-mail address).


All submissions designated as scholarly require an abstract that should not exceed 150 words in length. The abstract should be written in a manner so as to make clear the significant findings of the article to readers from across disciplines.

Click the link for samples of good abstracts.

Key Words

All scholarly submissions should be accompanied by five key words


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