For interview or review requests–or for general inquiries–please feel free to follow me on Twitter @cybergriff or contact me at jg dot rollefson at ucc dot ie.

Photo Credit: McSweeney/Provision

J. Griffith Rollefson is Professor of Music at University College Cork, National University of Ireland.  Griff received the PhD in musicology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the advisement of Ron Radano and Teju Olaniyan and has served on the faculties of music at the University of Cambridge and University of California, Berkeley, where he also served as UC Chancellor’s Public Scholar. 

His first book, Flip The Script: European Hip Hop and the Politics of Postcoloniality (University of Chicago Press, 2017), won the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Ruth Stone Book Award.  Of Flip the Script, Paul Gilroy, writes: “detailed, innovative, and exhilarating…. At last we have a critical survey that can match the complexity and power of the music”; musicologist Ellie Hisama adds: “A brilliantly textured portrait of European hip hop…  An inspiring and hopeful book”; ethnomusicologist Tom Solomon writes: “highly original and ambitious, and a substantial contribution to research on hip hop and postcolonialism”; and hip hop studies pioneer Murray Forman concludes: “Simply stated, this is a powerful book with a killer flow.”

Rollefson is Principal Investigator of the five-year, €2m ERC research initiative CIPHER: Hip Hop Interpellation (, which is developing new digital/ethnographic methods to map hip hop knowledge flows on six continents (2019-2024).  Check out the community-engagement page at to get involved in the project.

His research has been recognized by the European Commission, ACLS, AMS, SEM, Volkswagen Stiftung, DAAD, Enterprise Ireland, and British Academy, and is published in Black Music Research JournalEthnomusicology, Journal of Popular Music Studies, American Music, Twentieth-Century Music, Popular Music and Society, Journal of World Popular Music and in the edited volumes Hip Hop in Europe (LIT Verlag), Native Tongues: An African Hip Hop Reader (Africa World Press), The Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Studies (OUP), Interpretation (Paraguay Press), Made in Ireland (Routledge), the forthcoming Global Hiphopography (Palgrave Macmillan), and elsewhere. 

Rollefson is founding co-editor (with University of Cape Town’s Adam Haupt) of the community-engaged Open Access journal Global Hip Hop Studies (  His second book, on Jay-Z, Kanye West, Trump, and the end of capitalism, Critical Excess: Watch the Throne and the Last Gilded Age, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2021. For more information on Griff’s work, please visit and to get involved in CIPHER, please submit a gem of hip hop knowledge at, check out, and follow @GlobalCipher on Twitter and Instagram.

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