We Rock Long Distance is about the life and music of the emerging
diasporic Ghanaian hip-hop artist M.anifest. Tracing complex threads of
geography and generation, home and family, I examine what it is like to make
hip-hop from someone in M.anifest's position, but also what it's like to make a
dissertation and documentary about someone in M.anifest's position. After
outlining the major questions motivating the project, I articulate the distances
crossed in music and life between Minnesota and Ghana, the methodological
distances that inevitably arise in ethnography and documentary film, the digital
distances crossed through new media and social networking sites, and the
generational distances explored between M.anifest and his grandfather, J. H.
Kwabena Nketia. To tell these stories, I use numerous pieces of embedded
media (photos, audio, and video), positioning We Rock Long Distance at the intersection of textual and visual knowledge production as I explore the question
of where M.anifest both comes from and where he's at.