Hip Hop Ukraine: Music, Race, and African Migration

Hip Hop Ukraine: Music, Race, and African Migration

Hip Hop Ukraine: Music, Race, and African Migration

Hip Hop Ukraine: Music, Race, and African Migration

Synopsis

In Hip Hop Ukraine, we enter a world of urban music and dance competitions, hip hop parties, and recording studio culture to explore unique sites of interracial encounters among African students, African immigrants, and local populations in eastern Ukraine. Adriana N. Helbig combines ethnographic research with music, media, and policy analysis to examine how localized forms of hip hop create social and political spaces where an interracial youth culture can speak to issues of human rights and racial equality. She maps the complex trajectories of musical influence--African, Soviet, American--to show how hip hop has become a site of social protest in post-socialist society and a vehicle for social change.

Excerpt

Just as popular music from the United States has had a major impact on the development of popular music throughout the world, so its philosophies have inspired social and political movements worldwide. Hip hop, in its historical association with African American culture, has had a profound influence on cultural changes, civil rights movements, social developments, political situations, and globalizing cultural processes throughout the world. Numerous books, journals, internet articles, blogs, and social media sites reinforce the now commonly accepted notion that hip hop is a global genre that serves as a voice for youths of different backgrounds. Hip hop’s roots grow more complex along the routes of its appropriation. the technology available, the political climate, and the ethnic, racial, and class relationships among musicians and their audiences add to the vibrant developments and multitude of meanings “hip hop” has come to hold in the world today. in the United Kingdom, AfroCaribbeans use the genre to stand up to police brutality and racial profiling. in France, rappers such as mc Solaar and groups including Suprême ntm and iam are from former colonies who bring postcolonial politics, police brutality, Islamic identity, and equality to the foreground (Durand 2002). in similar socially conscious fashion, hip hop in Germany helps bring race to the forefront when post-Nazi politics are silent on the issue (Rollefson 2009). Rap on the African continent has begun to shed American influences and incorporate local languages and local issues (Charry 2012). Bringing attention to racial inequality, urban culture, power, materiality, and violence, hip hop in its global forms has cachet as a commodity through its association with the United States that is reshaped through local contexts and identities.

Recent research into the genre’s racial complexities in the United States has reinforced notions of hip hop’s ability to reach across racial and class . . .

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