Two hundred and forty years after contact and one hundred twenty years after the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom, the process and project of conquest continues. Hawai'i's Indigenous people and settler populations remain caught in a tense, back-and-forth process of place-making and identity formation. The poles of Native and settler exist in the same time and place, reflected in the land and lyrical life writing as if two turntables were playing very different songs synced to the same BPM, their peaks and valleys complementing each other, the horizon of their soundscape always competing. Understanding Hawai'i thus requires the crossfade—the constant movement between two decks. In 2012, the Night Marchers, a local and Hawaiian hip-hop posse, released their debut album Three Dots, across which, Indigenous, Asian settler, and Black diasporic rap artists crossfaded across their tense geography through overlapping verses and dialogic life writing. The complexities of their work together, understood as synced but choppy, reveals the dense layers of Hawai'i's rich, symbolic, and politically overdetermined landscape.


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pp. 527-549
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