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Other titles in the Refiguring American Music series:
Hip Hop Desis: South Asian Americans, Blackness, and a Global Race Consciousness (Refiguring American Music)by Nitasha Tamar Sharma
Synopses & Reviews
Hip Hop Desis explores the aesthetics and politics of South Asian American (desi) hip hop artists. Nitasha Tamar Sharma argues that through their lives and lyrics, young andldquo;hip hop desisandrdquo; express a global race consciousness that reflects both their sense of connection with Blacks as racialized minorities in the United States and their diasporic sensibility as part of a global community of South Asians. She emphasizes the role of appropriation and sampling in the ways that hip hop desis craft their identities, create art, and pursue social activism. Some desi artists produce what she calls andldquo;ethnic hip hop,andrdquo; incorporating South Asian languages, instruments, and immigrant themes. Through ethnic hip hop, artists, including KB, Sammy, and Deejay Bella, express andldquo;alternative desiness,andrdquo; challenging assumptions about their identities as South Asians, children of immigrants, minorities, and Americans. Hip hop desis also contest and seek to bridge perceived divisions between Blacks and South Asian Americans. By taking up themes considered irrelevant to many Asian Americans, desi performers, such as Dandrsquo;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.
Ethnographic study of South Asian American hip hop artists that looks at the cultural and political implications of these artists' use of black popular culture to create and express racial alliances.
An ethnography exploring the aesthetics and politics of South Asian American (desi) hip hop artists.
About the Author
“Hip Hop Desis is peopled with young, innovative characters who want to break out of the restraints that surround them: restraints of community and of stereotype. They are a joy to read about, and Nitasha Tamar Sharma takes us along with her generous analysis. We learn a lot about the magnificence of hip hop culture, how it draws people in and draws them to grow outwards. All of this makes Hip Hop Desis first-rate.”—Vijay Prashad, author of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World
“Investigating the meaning of hip hop for a dedicated group of South Asian American producers, DJs, rappers, and enthusiasts, Nitasha Tamar Sharma does important work illuminating the complexities of the racial order in the United States. She shows how identities formed through consumption and creative expression shape and reflect civic and political identities.”—George Lipsitz, author of Footsteps in the Dark: The Hidden Histories of Popular Music
“This bold, innovative critique of an under-explored area of hip hop culture significantly expands the field of hip hop scholarship. With this book, Nitasha Tamar Sharma makes an important contribution to our understanding of the complex ways that youth from various racial, ethnic, and national backgrounds are absorbing hip hop culture, respecting its cultural origins, and reshaping it in their own image.”—Bakari Kitwana, author of The Hip Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture
What Our Readers Are Saying