Hip Hop Desis

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-07-27
  • Publisher: Duke Univ Pr
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Hip Hop Desisexplores the worldviews of young Americans of South Asian descent (desi) who create hip hop music. Nitasha Tamar Sharma argues that through their lives and lyrics, "hip hop desis" express a global race consciousness reflecting both their sense of connection with Blacks as racialized minorities in the United States and their diasporic sensiblity as part of a global community of South Asians. Sharma emphasizes the role of appropriation and sampling in the ways that hip hop desis craft their identities, create art, and pursue social activism. Some of the desi artists at the center of her ethnography produce what she calls "ethnic hip hop," incorporating South Asian languages, instruments, and immigrant themes. Through ethnic hip hop, desi artists such as KB, Sammy, and Bella Deejay express "alternative desiness," challenging assumptions about their identities as South Asians, children of immigrants, minorities, and Americans. Desi artists also contest and seek to bridge perceived divisions between Black and South Asian Americans through "racialized hip hop." Sharma describes how they uncover connections between South Asians and Blacks, highlighting in their lyrics links such as the relationship between Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Mahatma Gandhi. By taking up themes considered irrelevant to many Asian Americans, desi performers including Drs"Lo, Chee Malabar of Himalayan Project and Rawj of Feenom Circle create a multiracial form of black popular culture to fight racism and enact social change.

Author Biography

Nitasha Tamar Sharma is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Asian American Studies at Northwestern University.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introduction: Claiming Space, Making Racep. 1
Alternative Ethnics: Rotten Coconuts and Ethnic Hip Hopp. 37
Making Race: Desi Racial Identities, South Asian and Black Relations, and Racialized Hip Hopp. 88
Flipping the Gender Script: Gender and Sexuality in South Asian and Hip Hop Americap. 138
The Appeal of Hip Hop, Ownership, and the Politics of Locationp. 190
Sampling South Asians: Dual Flows of Appropriation and the Possibilities of Authenticityp. 234
Conclusion: Turning Thoughts into Action through the Politics of Identificationp. 283
Notesp. 301
Referencesp. 315
Indexp. 335
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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