In Maira's article, the identity of South Asians and their Hip-Hop is one of the central issues. The one aspect that certain cultures especially amongst males is trying to seek a male identity that speaks tough on their part and creating one of their own. I remember taking AAS 181: Hip-Hop diaspora (taught by Prof. Halifu Osumare) during Summer Session 2008 and discussing about the masculinity being used as part of their coolness as displayed by many of the artists in the hip-hop community who use it as part of their play to garner the attention of their audience. For the most part, it represents Maira "the hipness" in being the known and trying to get that respect through extending masculinity (Maira). I believe that this is the opposite for many of the Desi artists and as well as the South Asian demographic to incorporate such ideals. However, that perception of masculinity can be overlooked through the idea of "blackness," overshadows many of the ideas that these advances in hip-hop.
What I found interesting in another article was one Desi artist trying to incorporate hip-hop and his culture. However, the first assumption of artist claimed is that they are "posing," but in fact this is them trying to express who they are and what they experienced (www.littleindia.com). However, as I mentioned earlier in my previous blog about Kawaii, it's sort of escaping the realities of stress, but instead it's more voicing their thoughts and expressions through what they know in their lives. That's what most individuals try to incorporate and as a result this is their form of expression of what they are, but not meant to rebel against older generation which seems to be a common issue between the latter. In fact, this is probably the younger generations way of appreciating their culture as a result of this and at the same time adopting another sub-culture and this applies to all cultures or racial groups. According to Chee Malabar and the1shanti, two Desi hip-hop artists they believe that the music itself transcending their identity and put a positive outlook in their communities as a result (www.littleindia.com).
The role of race should highly be contradicted from what some of these individuals are trying to display. Similar to previous decades or eras and as I learned from AAS 181, it should be appreciated is combination of cultures being incorporate itself as one and that's what Hip-Hop was originally would stand for in the first place. The definition of hip-hop may interpret to one specific group, but in the end it's one big melting pot that influences and educates each culture of their history, expression, and it's positive aspects. The commercialized aspects of hip-hop tends to overshadow this and the broader audience see what they see and in the end it's true definition and understanding may be difficult for many.
As for my compact challenge, the temptation to buy new shirts has been pretty difficulty especially with some sales that I saw at Downtown Sac. Some were nifty, but I reminded myself that I didn't need to buy these articles. Overall, it's been going okay so far and hope to keep it up consistently.
February 21, 2010
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.