Desi Rap: South Asian Americans in Hip Hop

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Format Hardcover. Condition Brand New. Description This groundbreaking collection of essays is the first book of its kind to interrogate ideas about ownership of culture while asserting the distinctness of South Asian American identity that has come through the use of and influence by hip-hop as a cultural art form.


  • Desi Rap : Hip Hop and South Asian America?
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Grand Eagle Retail is the ideal place for all your shopping needs! With fast shipping, low prices, friendly service and over 1,, in stock items - you're bound to find what you want, at a price you'll love! Rap stars like Raja Kumari, Emiway Bantai, Brodha V, and Hiphop Tamizha continue to be some of the most streamed Indian hip hop artists, with newer names getting added to the list as the genre gets more recognition.

It curates tracks by young hip hop artists from every corner of India, speaking a multitude of languages and rapping in different styles. And indeed, bright it is. We definitely need some more female MCs in the mix, a lot more linguistic diversity, and of course, the core messaging about the grassroots in the forefront.

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That is, and will continue to be, our USP, carving desi hip hop its own niche in an already populated genre. And with that being said, it does feel reassuring to know that online streaming services are poised to help cast a spotlight on the future of Indian hip hop. Their production is also littered with Bollywood samples the work of Suri , as well as sampling from a wider rap lineage including Jay-Z, A Tribe Called Quest and working with other artists including Danny Brown, Childish Gambino and Tyler the Creator.

Despite this, it is a wonder why Das Racist at Suri and Kondobulo are embraced as part Desi rap artists. No doubt the process of commercialisation and corporate cooption of hip-hop has increased the visibility and accessibility of the form whilst simultaneously obscuring, subjugating and often erasing the importance of the Black experience.


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  8. In their negotiation of racism, hip-hop Desis — be they artists, consumers or writers — must therefore uphold a critical consciousness that recognises hip-hop as rooted in a Black experience. Indeed, Desi artists wield a certain amount of privilege in taking up space and representation within hip-hop and must not obliterate its primary cultural stewards. This in itself could be an important step towards counteracting anti-blackness within the Desi community.

    Notwithstanding these tensions, it is clear that within Desi hip- hop, artists work to enact identities that hold political consequences. Helaluddin, Talking Race, Claiming Space 25 it is this paradox that I have sought to illuminate in this article.

    Apple Music is Helping Elevate India’s Hip Hop Scene From Local Gullys to Global Playlists

    To be clear, such action does not undermine dominant understandings of political activity in hip-hop. It is not a cohesive movement, nor a genre of definable characteristics. Rather, it is a compilation of numerous self- constructed and self-conscious political identities. Investment in hip- hop is an important act of race consciousness-identification, but also carries the weight and knowledge of appropriating an expressive form rooted in Black Nationalism.

    1Dessay: "Sand N*gga, Please:" A History of the N-Word amongst the South Asian Diaspora

    Within this essay I hope not just to identify the plurality and complexity of Desi hip-hop identities and approaches; but also the multiple ways in which political identities emerge and the manner in which artists negotiate cultural appropriation. Through this, perhaps we can recognise that social change is manifold and not just explicit in the rhymes and rhythms of Desi artists, but sometimes more implicit via the presence of Desi artists intercepting hip-hop and carving their identities into mainstream channels of communication as a means of countering limitations instilled by a dominant culture.

    She is a vocal feminist who has a healthy obsession with pop culture and an interest in seeking creative forms of political practice, facts often reflected in her writing — both at university and on various online platforms. If she ever finishes her degree, she hopes to continue to use writing as one way of dismantling mainstream discourses of oppression.

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