Post-colonial consciousness, knowledge production, and identity inscription within Filipino American hip hop music


  • Anthony Kwame Harrison Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University



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.

Author Biography

Anthony Kwame Harrison, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Anthony Kwame Harrison is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology/Program in Africana Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University where he teaches courses on the Sociology of Popular Music and Black Aesthetics. An anthropologist by training, Dr. Harrison’s research interests include music scenes, racial/ethnic identification, and the politics of ethnographic representations. He is author of Hip Hop Underground: The Integrity and Ethics of Racial Identification (Temple University Press 2009).


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How to Cite

Harrison, A. (2012). Post-colonial consciousness, knowledge production, and identity inscription within Filipino American hip hop music. Perfect Beat, 13(1), 29–48.