This book investigates the discursive and performative strategies employed by Australian Indigenous rappers to make sense of the world and establish a position of authority over their identity and place in society. Focusing on the aesthetics, the language, and the performativity of Hip Hop, this book pays attention to the life stance, the philosophy, and the spiritual beliefs of Australian Indigenous Hip Hop artists as ‘glocal’ producers and consumers. With Hip Hop as its main point of analysis, the author investigates, interrogates, and challenges categories and preconceived ideas about the critical notions of authenticity, ‘Indigenous’ and dominant values, spiritual practices, and political activism. Maintaining the emphasis on the importance of adopting decolonizing research strategies, the author utilises qualitative and ethnographic methods of data collection, such as semi-structured interviews, informal conversations, participant observation, and fieldwork notes. Collaborators and participants shed light on some of the dynamics underlying their musical decisions and their view within discussions on representations of ‘Indigenous identity and politics’. Looking at the Indigenous rappers’ local and global aspirations, this study shows that, by counteracting hegemonic narratives through their unique stories, Indigenous rappers have utilised Hip Hop as an expressive means to empower themselves and their audiences, entertain, and revive their Elders’ culture in ways that are contextual to the society they live in.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Culture on the Stage of History: The Past Is Present in ‘Indigenous Hip Hop’
Chapter 1: "The Black from Down-Unda": Contact Zones and Cultures of Black Resistance
Chapter 2: "2 Black 2 Strong": The Politics of Blackness and Identification
Chapter 3: ‘Indigenous Hip Hop’: The Politics of Identity and Representation
Chapter 4: "Know Our True Identity": Indigenous Articulations of Identity through Kin, Place, and Spirituality
Chapter 5: Hip Hop and Australian Indigenous Youth: New Modes of Political Participation
Conclusion: ‘Indigenous Hip Hop’: History in the making
Chiara Minestrelli holds a PhD in Australian Indigenous studies from Monash University (2015). She is visiting professor in the Africana Studies Program at Lehigh University. She has published on Australian Indigenous literature and Hip Hop and Australian Indigenous Hip Hop.
"Hip Hop outside of the U.S. North American context has been largely mute for far too long. Yet, Hip Hop remains a powerful force throughout the globe. What Minestrelli has provided here is a window into the strong and current culture of Hip Hop within Australian contexts. This study examines the related history of Hip Hop within an indigenous context and provides the reader with an area of Hip Hop that is developing and connected to rich roots. Minestrelli’s work stands to be a cornerstone text in the field of Hip Hop Studies."—Daniel White Hodge, North Park University, USA