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J. Griffith Rollefson

Professor of Music, University College Cork

J. Griffith Rollefson is Professor of Music at University College Cork, National University of Ireland. He has served on the faculties of music at the University of Cambridge and at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also served as UC Chancellor’s Public Scholar.

Rollefson is author of Flip The Script: European Hip Hop and the Politics of Postcoloniality (University of Chicago Press, 2017), which won the Society for Ethnomusicology’s 2019 Ruth Stone Prize and Critical Excess: Watch the Throne and the New Gilded Age (University of Michigan Press, 2021) about Jay-Z, Kanye West, Donald Trump, and the end of capitalism.

Rollefson is founding co-editor (with University of Cape Town’s Adam Haupt) of the journal Global Hip Hop Studies ( and Principle Investigator of the 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). 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 Journal, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Ethnomusicology, 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), and elsewhere.

For more information on Griff’s work, please visit and To get involved in CIPHER, check out and follow @GlobalCipher.


  • –present
    Professor of Music, University College Cork


  • 2009 
    University of Wisconsin-Madison, PhD / Musicology