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Defining Authenticity in the Mid-2000s Australian Hip-Hop Scene: Constructing and Maintaining ‘Underground’ Status at a Time of Increasing Popularity

Defining Authenticity in the Mid-2000s Australian Hip-Hop Scene: Constructing and Maintaining... Hip-Hop fans and artists’ responses to the growing popularity of Hip-Hop music in Australia in the mid-2000s is the subject of this article which draws on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Melbourne and Adelaide from 2006 to 2008. Prior to this period, participants in the Australian Hip-Hop scene characterised it as an ‘authentic’ underground community in contrast to disparaged ‘inauthentic’ mainstream practices and products. This conceptualisation was challenged as opportunities to make money from Hip-Hop culture increased and more people began to produce and consume Hip-Hop. Research participants reacted to these developments by drawing boundaries around the Hip-Hop community, in particular, by making distinctions between people who loved Hip-Hop and had demonstrated a commitment to Hip-Hop culture and ‘outsiders’ whose involvement in the scene was criticised and rejected. In doing so, they were able to maintain a sense of ownership, control and shared cultural identity in a period of uncertainty. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology Taylor & Francis

Defining Authenticity in the Mid-2000s Australian Hip-Hop Scene: Constructing and Maintaining ‘Underground’ Status at a Time of Increasing Popularity

The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology , Volume 21 (2): 19 – Mar 14, 2020

Defining Authenticity in the Mid-2000s Australian Hip-Hop Scene: Constructing and Maintaining ‘Underground’ Status at a Time of Increasing Popularity

The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology , Volume 21 (2): 19 – Mar 14, 2020

Abstract

Hip-Hop fans and artists’ responses to the growing popularity of Hip-Hop music in Australia in the mid-2000s is the subject of this article which draws on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Melbourne and Adelaide from 2006 to 2008. Prior to this period, participants in the Australian Hip-Hop scene characterised it as an ‘authentic’ underground community in contrast to disparaged ‘inauthentic’ mainstream practices and products. This conceptualisation was challenged as opportunities to make money from Hip-Hop culture increased and more people began to produce and consume Hip-Hop. Research participants reacted to these developments by drawing boundaries around the Hip-Hop community, in particular, by making distinctions between people who loved Hip-Hop and had demonstrated a commitment to Hip-Hop culture and ‘outsiders’ whose involvement in the scene was criticised and rejected. In doing so, they were able to maintain a sense of ownership, control and shared cultural identity in a period of uncertainty.

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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2020 The Australian National University
ISSN
1740-9314
eISSN
1444-2213
DOI
10.1080/14442213.2020.1714707
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Hip-Hop fans and artists’ responses to the growing popularity of Hip-Hop music in Australia in the mid-2000s is the subject of this article which draws on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Melbourne and Adelaide from 2006 to 2008. Prior to this period, participants in the Australian Hip-Hop scene characterised it as an ‘authentic’ underground community in contrast to disparaged ‘inauthentic’ mainstream practices and products. This conceptualisation was challenged as opportunities to make money from Hip-Hop culture increased and more people began to produce and consume Hip-Hop. Research participants reacted to these developments by drawing boundaries around the Hip-Hop community, in particular, by making distinctions between people who loved Hip-Hop and had demonstrated a commitment to Hip-Hop culture and ‘outsiders’ whose involvement in the scene was criticised and rejected. In doing so, they were able to maintain a sense of ownership, control and shared cultural identity in a period of uncertainty.

Journal

The Asia Pacific Journal of AnthropologyTaylor & Francis

Published: Mar 14, 2020

Keywords: Hip-Hop; Rap; Authenticity; Commercialisation; Underground; Mainstream

References