Ok so reading Sunaina Maira’s article on South Asians taking a liking to Hip-hop has sparked all kinds of thoughts in my head; ranging from head nodding approval to mild contempt. In particular a passage that reads, “…a remix youth culture, one that expresses the cultural imaginaries of second-generation youth from an immigrant community of color” (Maira). This passage I found most relation to, because I can recall numerous examples of youth adopting Hip-hop culture while growing up in an urban landscape. Most of the people I know from my hometown most definitely is more geared towards hip-hop and rap than anything else and it makes me contemplate my own identity. The positives kind of end there, since earlier passages mention that despite such a draw that hip hop has on the South Asian community, there is rarely such a diverse reality. What I mean by this is that despite loving and identifying with Hip-hop and black culture, there are rarely blacks intermingling with South Asian. As shown, “…while many Desi youth identify with hip hop music and style, there are rarely any African American deejays spinning at “Indian parties,” nor many African American or Latino youth attending these events, which are almost exclusively South Asian American” (Maira). Now, this irks me. It reminds me of suburb kids who adopt gangster rap and act as if they come from the ghetto areas. Again, I could be very wrong and biased or whatever, but it just doesn’t sit well with me. It reminds me too much of how European designers take ethnic dress and showcase it only on white models. Honestly it brings forth too many connotation of prejudice. It’s as if to say “oh certain things about you guys are cool, but stay the fuck away or we’ll call the cops.” I don’t know, like I said, I could be utterly wrong in my thinking, perhaps its due to not being able to buy any new clothing for so long that I’m being grouchy. Oh, on the topic of not buying new clothes, I’ve kept up with the challenge pretty good so far. Mostly been spending money on gas and food. But of course, once the class is over I’ll definitely splurge on some new Nikes made by tiny Asian children’s hands.
Maira, Sunaina. Henna and Hip Hop: The Politics of Cultural Production and the Work of Cultural Studies. Journal of Asian American Sudies 3.3 (2000): 329-369.