Post-colonial consciousness, knowledge production, and identity inscription within Filipino American hip hop music
Keywords:authenticity, Filipino Americans, hip hop, US Empire
Over the past decade a distinctly Filipino American rap music movement has emerged on the West Coast of the United States. At its core, the political thrust of this music is founded on a critique of US Empire that considers its historical and contemporary implications for people of colour and the working class. Through examining (1) the social location of Filipino youth within contemporary American urban landscapes, (2) the extent to which their marginalized position has involved dimensions of historical racialization, (3) the ability of young Filipino Americans to gain a foothold in hip hop’s other expressive forms, and (4) the current rise of Filipino Studies as an academic field, this essay explores how an emergent post-colonial consciousness contributes to Filipino American claims to hip hop authenticity and serves a vehicle through which to utilize rap as a medium for extending a grassroots knowledge-building tradition.
Balce, Nerissa S. 2006. ‘Filipino Bodies, Lynching, and the Language of Empire’. In Positively No Filipinos Allowed: Building Communities and Discourse, ed. Antonio T. Tiongson Jr., Edgardo V. Gutierrez and Richardo V. Gutierrez, 43–60. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Barrientos, Darleene. 2000. ‘Students Pour Out Hearts at Open Mic’. The Daily Titan (California State University Fullerton), 31 October. http://dailytitan.fullerton.edu/issues/fall_00/10_31/news/studentspour.html (accessed 16 July 2004).
Bulosan, Carlos. Bulosan, Carlos.  1973. America is in the Heart. Reprint. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
—1995. ‘My Education’. In On Becoming Filipino: Selected Writings of Carlos Bulosan, ed. Epifanio San Juan Jr., 124–30. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Cabusao, Jeffrey Arellano. 2007. ‘Confronting U.S. Empire: Reviewing Filipino Insurgent Intellectual Production in the United States’. The Los Angeles Independent Media Center. http://www.la.indymedia.org/news/2007/07/203138.php (accessed 28 April 2009).
Campomanes, Oscar V., and Todd Gernes. 1988. ‘Two Letters From America: Carlos Bulosan and the Act of Writing’. MELUS 15/3: 15–46. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/467501
Castells, Manuel. 1997. The Power of Identity. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
—2000. The Rise of Network Society (Second Edition). Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Chan, Sucheng. 1991. Asian Americans: An Interpretive History. Boston: Twayne.
Connors, Thomas. 2001. ‘Fruit of Hard Labor’. SF Weekly, 21 November. http://www.sfweekly.com/2001-11-21/music/fruits-of-hard-labor/ (accessed 5 August 2011).
Constantino, Renato. 1987. ‘The Miseducation of the Filipino’. In The Philippines Reader: A History of Colonialism, Neocolonialism, Dictatorship, and Resistance, ed. Daniel B. Schirmer and Stephen R. Shalom, 45–48. Boston: South End Press.
Cooper, Frederick, and Rogers Brubaker. 2005. ‘Identity’. In Frederick Cooper, Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History, 59–90. Berkeley: University of California Press.
de Jesús, Melinda L., ed. 2005. Pinay Power: Peminist Critical Theory. New York: Routledge.
de Leon, Lakandiwa M. 2004. ‘Filipinotown and the DJ Scene: Expression and Identity Affirmation of Filipino American Youth in Los Angeles’. In Asian American Youth: Culture, Identity, and Ethnicity, ed. Jennifer Lee and Min Zhou, 191–206. New York: Routledge.
De Witt, Howard A. 1980. Violence in the Fields: California Filipino Farm Labor Unionization during the Great Depression. Saratoga, CA: Century Twenty One Publications.
Dream, Mike. n.d. ‘Writing Is My Life’. www.hiphop-elements.com. http://www.hiphop-elements.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=1037327&sid=3f18603dc4b4a098dd31c014504de092 (accessed 16 July 2010).
Espiritu, Yen Le. 2003. Homebound: Filipino American Lives across Cultures, Communities, and Countries. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Evangelista, Susan. 1985. Carlos Bulosan and his Poetry: A Biography and Anthology. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Frith, Simon. 1996. ‘Music and Identity’. In Questions of Cultural Identity, ed. Stuart Hall and Paul du Gay, 108–27. London: Sage.
Gramsci, Antonio. 1971. Selections from the Prison Notebooks, ed. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith. New York: International.
Harrison, Anthony Kwame. 2008. ‘Racial Authenticity in Rap Music and Hip Hop’. Sociology Compass 2/6: 1783–1800. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9020.2008.00171.x
—2009. Hip Hop Underground: The Integrity and Ethics of Racial Identification. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Herz, Ansel. 2008. ‘SXSW Interview with Blue Scholars’. http://www.scribd.com/doc/8974234/Blue-Scholars-Media-Hacker-Interview (accessed 22 July 2011).
Korean Immigrant Workers Advocates. 2005. ‘Koreatown on the Edge: Immigrant Dreams and Realities in One of Los Angeles’ Poorest Communities’. A Report prepared in association with Edward J. Park.
Kramer, Paul A. 2006. The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.
Le, C.N. 2010. ‘The 1965 Immigration Act’. Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. http://www.asian-nation.org/1965-immigration-act.shtml (accessed 8 June 2010).
Lowe, Lisa. 2006. ‘Foreword’. In Positively No Filipinos Allowed: Building Communities and Discourse, ed. Antonio T. Tiongson Jr., Edgardo V. Gutierrez and Richardo V. Gutierrez, vii–ix. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Maharaj, Zoneil. 2006. ‘Reinventing the Steel’. Oh Dang! Urban Culture Magazine. http://www.ohdangmag.com/archive/features/reinventing_the_steel.html (accessed 20 May 2009).
Maira, Sunaina Marr. 2002. Desis in the House: Indian American Youth Culture in New York City. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Mariano, Honorante. 1933. The Filipino Immigrant in the U.S. Eugene: University of Oregon Press.
Matson, Andew, and Ann Powers, 2011. ‘Grind and Shine: Blue Scholars’. The Record—Music News from NPR. http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2011/07/01/137537350/grind-and-shine-blue-scholars (accessed 22 July 2011).
McLeod, Kembrew. 1999. ‘Authenticity within Hip Hop and Other Cultures Threatened with Assimilation’. Journal of Communication 49/4: 134–50. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/joc/49.4.134
McWilliams, Carey. 1973. ‘Introduction’. In Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart, vii–xxiv. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Morrow, Paul. 2007. ‘The Basics of Philippino Filipino’. Pilipino Express 3/15. http://www.pilipino-express.com/history-a-culture/in-other-words/127-the-basics-of-philippino-filipino.html (accessed 12 December 2009).
Mugo, Micere M. G. 1991. African Orature and Human Rights. Lesotho: Institute of Southern African Studies, National University of Lesotho.
Ong, Walter J. 1988. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the World. New York: Routledge.
Page, Enoch. 2004. ‘The Magical Mask of Whiteness: Disguising Racism and Doing Whiteness Studies Under the Second Bush Reich’. Unpublished Panel Proposal for the American Anthropological Association 2004 Meetings in San Francisco.
Patterson, Haywood, and Earl Conrad. 1950. Scottsboro Boy. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
Pattillo-McCoy, Mary. 1999. Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril among the Black Middle Class. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Peterson, Richard A. 2005. ‘In Search of Authenticity’. Journal of Management Studies 42/5: 1083–98. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2005.00533.x
Pisares, Elizabeth H. 2006. ‘Do You Mis(recognize) Me: Filipina Americans in Popular Music and the Problem of Invisibility’. In Positively No Filipinos Allowed: Building Communities and Discourse, ed. Antonio T. Tiongson Jr., Edgardo V. Gutierrez and Richardo V. Gutierrez, 172–98. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Precoda, Karl, and Paulo S. Polanah. 2009. ‘To Discipline and Publish: Scottsboro and Narratives of Delinquency’. Critical Criminology 17/3: 145–58. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10612-009-9077-9
San Juan Jr., Epifanio, ed. 1995. On Becoming Filipino: Selected Writings of Carlos Bulosan. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
—2007. On the Presence of Filipinos in the United States and Other Essays. Salinas, CA: SRMNK Publishers.
—n.d. ‘The National-Democratic Struggle in the Philippines’. http://web.uvic.ca/~anp/Public/posish_pap/San_Juan.pdf (accessed 3 August 2011).
Shuffled. 2007. ‘Kiwi’. Boston Progress Radio. http://www.bprlive.org/2007/12/06/shuffled-kiwi/ (accessed 2 September 2009).
Springer, Richard. 2011. ‘Census: Asian-Indian Population Explodes across U.S.’ New American Media, 13 May. http://newamericamedia.org/2011/05/census-asian-indian-population-explodes-across-us.php (accessed 4 August 2011).
Stokes, Martin. 1994. ‘Introduction: Ethnicity, Identity, and Music’. In Ethnicity, Identity and Music: The Musical Construction of Place, ed. Martin Stokes, 1–27. Providence, RI: Berg.
Tandoc, Eric. 2009. Sounds of a New Hope. Mass Movement and Sine Patriyotiko.
Tapia, Ruby C. 2006. ‘“Just Ten Years Removed from a Bolo and Breech-cloth”: The Sexualization of the Filipino “Menace”’. In Positively No Filipinos Allowed: Building Communities and Discourse, ed. Antonio T. Tiongson Jr., Edgardo V. Gutierrez and Richardo V. Gutierrez, 61–70. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Taylor, Paul C. 2005. ‘Does Hip Hop Belong to Me? The Philosophy of Race and Culture’. In Hip Hop and Philosophy: Rhyme 2 Reason, ed. Derrick Darby and Tommie Shelby, 79–91. Chicago: Open Court.
Trailblazing: An Interview with Nomi of Power Struggle. 2010. Hyphen Magazine Facebook Notes (posted 25 February 2010). http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=356594272322 (accessed 22 July 2011).
Viesca, Victor Hugo. 2003. ‘With Style: Filipino Americans and the Making of American Urban Culture’. Our Own Voice (January). http://www.oovrag.com/essays/essay2003a-1.shtml (accessed 16 July 2010).
Villegas, Mark Redondo. 2009. Hip Hop Mestizaje: Racialization, Resonance, and Filipino American Knowledge of Self. http://vimeo.com/6394176 (accessed 8 June 2010).
Viola, Michael. 2006. ‘Filipino American Hip-Hop and Class Consciousness: Renewing the Spirit of Carlos Bulosan’. MR Zine (15 April). http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/viola150406.html (accessed 6 July 2009).
Wang, Oliver. 2007. ‘Rapping and Repping Asian: Race, Authenticity, and the Asian American MC’. In Alien Encounters: Popular Culture and Asian America, ed. Mimi Thi Nguyen and Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu, 35–68. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.