Australian Indigenous Hip Hop: The Politics of Culture, Identity, and Spirituality, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Australian Indigenous Hip Hop

The Politics of Culture, Identity, and Spirituality, 1st Edition

By Chiara Minestrelli


252 pages

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Paperback: 9781138615007
pub: 2018-05-04
Hardback: 9781138658714
pub: 2016-11-07
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pub: 2016-10-26
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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.


"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

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

About the Author

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.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Hip Hop and Religion

Routledge Studies in Hip Hop and Religion advances critical issues in hip hop and religion studies with particular focus on and attention to the category of religion, highlighting and bringing together a diverse set of voices, perspectives, and approaches. Books in this series contribute to dynamic conversations across a wide field of inquiry, including: theory and method for the study of hip hop and religion; the role of technology and new media in the development of hip hop culture and the mediation of meaning; aesthetics/performance of hip hop and the cosmology and performance of social belief; hip hop, religion and embodiment; identity formation as cultural/religious process and strategic/tactical operational acts; the role of hip hop in faith institutions; and hip hop, religion, and gender/class/sexuality/politics.

The key objectives of the series are:

(1) To offer an expansive contribution to the field of hip hop and religion studies that explores critical issues and formative questions that engage a variety of hip hop cultural products and sources, especially those that make use of the tools, methods, and approaches in the academic study of religion.

(2) To offer a space for research monographs and edited collections that will be of continued use to scholars in the field, graduate students, and, when possible, undergraduate audiences in the academic study of religion and beyond.

(3) To provide critical roadmaps exploring and explaining major topics, questions, data, and critical trends in the study of hip hop and religion and the changing and expanding academic engagements with it.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Rap & Hip Hop
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Ethnic & Tribal
RELIGION / Spirituality