Ily Tran ES 207 Hip Hop and Ya Don’t Stop 29 February 2012 Paper Proposal – The Appropriation of Hip

Hop Culture by Southeast Asian Youth My research paper will focus the appropriation of hip hop culture by Southeast Asian Youth, taking a focus in rap music and b-boy culture. I hope to address the six following questions: Why does the culture appeal to Southeast Asian (SEA) youth; What aspects of the culture are embraced fully and what aspects are removed; How do the youth see it within the context of their own culture/ethnicity; Do the youth see it as an American culture or as something that has be localized; and How does the diaspora play into the cultural exchange between American and SEA hip hop? My tentative thesis is as follows: SEA youth have adopted hip hop culture as a method of personal expression that best suits their group identity as a postwar generation and as a generation coming to terms with its ethnic traditions. This is seen in the political and nationalistic focus of the hip hop music in SEA cultures and in the appropriation of breakdance culture as emotional self-expression, but also in the use of traditional themes and tropes of the cultures in this new form of expression. The cultural exchange between the diaspora of various SEA nations contributes to the growing hip hop culture in that it helped to bring hip hop culture to SEA first and in that it continues a political dialogue between the diaspora and those within the SEA nations through hip hop culture. To test my argument, I will be referencing at secondary source material (i.e. scholarship that has already been done on this topic or on a similar topic, like the localization of hip hop culture to another non-SEA culture) and I will be analyzing primary source material (i.e. rap lyrics from SEA artists and video performances/interviews with SEA b-boys). If appropriate, I will also try to draw from personal

My work will serve to expand contemporary Asian cultures outside of the scope of “Westernization” and similar now-outdated discourse. . Finally. Further. it will delve into the role of youth culture in post-war societies and the role of personal expression and art in youth politics. it will add to scholarship on the exchange between diasporic communities and their nations of origin.experience of the culture.

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