DJs, Racial Authenticity, and the Hip-hop Nation
Publication Year: 2013
The “Hip-hop Nation” has been scouted, staked out, and settled by journalists and scholars alike. Antonio T. Tiongson Jr. steps into this well-mapped territory with questions aimed at interrogating how nation is conceptualized within the context of hip-hop. What happens, Tiongson asks, to notions of authenticity based on hip-hop’s apparent blackness when Filipino youth make hip-hop their own?
Tiongson draws on interviews with Bay Area–based Filipino American DJs to explore the authenticating strategies they rely on to carve out a niche within DJ culture. He shows how Filipino American youth involvement in DJing reconfigures the normal boundaries of Filipinoness predicated on nostalgia and cultural links with an idealized homeland. Filipinos Represent makes the case that while the engagement of Filipino youth with DJ culture speaks to the broadening racial scope of hip-hop—and of what it means to be Filipino—such involvement is also problematic in that it upholds deracialized accounts of hip-hop and renders difference benign.
Looking at the ways in which Filipino DJs legitimize their place in an expressive form historically associated with African Americans, Tiongson examines what these complex forms of identification reveal about the contours and trajectory of contemporary U.S. racial formations and discourses in the post–civil rights era.
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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First and foremost, I want to thank my mother—affectionately known as“Malou” to her friends—for her steadfast love and support at every stage ofmy career in academia. This book is dedicated to her. I also want to acknowl-edge Mian, Papa (R.I.P.), Tita Lil, Tito Fred, and the Ramos and Cunanan fam-ilies for their support through the years, as well as Lucee for all the love and...
INTRODUCTION: Claiming Hip-hop
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ON SEPTEMBER 7, 1997, the International Turntablist Federation (ITF)held its second annual World Championships at the Palace of Fine Arts inSan Francisco in various skill categories: scratching, beat juggling, team orDJ bands, and best all around.1 In all these categories, Filipino DJs made upthe bulk of the competitors, prompting the host to remind the audience that...
1. The African Americanization of Hip-hop
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...black thing. It has always been multiracial, multicultural, and multilingual. Those qualities formed a movement that has defied all attempts to impose the strict racial definitions and caricaturesthat endeavor to limit its potential reach and influence. By insistingon borrowing from various cultural, musical, aesthetic, and political...
2. The Racialization of DJ Culture
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When people say that “Hip-hop is a black thing, or a Puerto Ricanthing,” I feel like saying, “You know what? Let me explain somethingto you, because you weren’t there.” It takes a lot of nerve to say that.Our art is multiracial, multicultural, multilingual, multidimensional. . . So when people tell me that hip-hop is a black thing, I’m like...
3. “The Scratching Is What Got Me Hooked”: Filipino American DJs in the Bay Area
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...relation to the cultural landscape of the Bay Area. It is very much a functionof developments specific to the region at a particular historical juncture. Inparticular, the DJs I interviewed were very much influenced, one way or theother, by the burgeoning mobile DJ scene that took hold of the Bay Area inthe 1980s, although my respondents did not get into DJing until well after...
4. “DJing as a Filipino Thing”: Negotiating Questions of Race
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THE DJS I INTERVIEWED ARE WELL AWARE of the history of hip-hop,or what has come to be constructed as the conventional narrative of hip-hop.They are very much aware of the racialized discourses that have come todefine the contours of hip-hop, and they acknowledge hip-hop’s black ante -cedents and subscribe to the notion that it began as an African American...
5. The Normative Boundaries of Filipinoness
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It’s just, just being in the spotlight is fun, you know. ’Cause whenyou’re a DJ at a party, you’re the party, you know. You’re the onethat controls the mood, you’re the one that controls what peoplesay, you know. Like, uh, you can say anything to the crowd. Like, ifyou’re doing good, you can manipulate the crowd to make them do...
CONCLUSION: Reimagining the Hip-hop Nation
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We like France for what it is but we can’t say the flag “blue, white,stituency as part of a nation: the hip-hop nation. In an article on hip-hopnationalism, Jeffrey Louis Decker traces the initial usage of the phrase “hip-hopnation” to a Village Voice article published January 19, 1988. Since its initialusage, the term “hip-hop nation” has enjoyed a great deal of currency, and is...
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...1. The ITF is an organization that began sponsoring DJ competitions worldwide in1996; it promotes the notion that the turntable is an instrument that produces ratherthan just plays music. Scratching and beat juggling are common DJ techniques andhave become standards of battling. Doc Rice, a DJ himself, describes scratching thisway: “Virtually all scratches involve moving the record by hand in a forward and back-...
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Unless otherwise noted, topics refer to U.S.-based Filipinos. Notes are listed as n or nsAntonio T. Tiongson Jr. is assistant professor of American studies at theUniversity of New Mexico. He is coeditor of the anthology Positively No Fil-ipinos Allowed: Building Communities and Discourse (2006). His research inter-ests include youth cultural politics, comparative racializations, and empire. ...
Page Count: 152
Publication Year: 2013