Desi Rap

Desi Rap : Hip Hop and South Asian America

Edited by Ajay Nair , Edited by Murali Balaji , Contributions by Utkarsh Ambudkar , Contributions by Vijay Prashad , Contributions by DJ Rekha , Contributions by Deepti Hajela , Contributions by Sunaina Maira , Contributions by Chee Malabar , Contributions by Raeshem Chopra Nijhon , Contributions by Swapnil Shah


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Desi Rap explores the connection between South Asian Americans and hip-hop as both a sociopolitical/cultural movement and performative identity. 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.

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  • Paperback | 202 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 17.78mm | 317.51g
  • 30 Oct 2008
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0739127225
  • 9780739127223

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Author Information

Ajay Nair is Associate Vice Provost at the University of Pennsylvania. Murali Balaji is a lecturer and doctoral fellow at the College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University.

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Review quote

Finally, a book that speaks to the full complexity of immigrant and Asian American lives through the Desi youth who are taking on the 'isms' and creating American culture through hip-hop solidarity. A must-read story about the future of America that is here today. -- Helen Zia, author of Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People South Asian Americans have created a unique, remix identity and culture at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, and nation as revealed in Desi Rap, a collection of smart, engaging essays by some of the finest scholars and artists of the genre. Moreover, South Asian American hip-hop culture, the authors show, was conceived in resistance to oppression and mobilized a brown liberation movement. -- Gary Y. Okihiro

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