“‘Change That Wouldn’t Fill a Homeless Man’s Cup Up’: Filipino-American Political Hip Hop and Community Organizing in the Age of Obama.”
Harrison, Anthony Kwame
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"SOMETIMES RAPPIN' AIN'T ENOUGH" In the opening verse to its 2011 song "Sunshine; Power Struggle lead vocalist Nomi enounces that "political rap is like a trap sometimes." As an African-diasporic orature form, forged within the collusive cauldrons where the trials of postindustrial disenfranchisement mix with the resiliencies of subaltern innovation, hip hop lyricism is inherently ambiguous and political. The trap that Nomi (possibly) refers to is set along the well-worn path between artistic intention and public reception. Whereas questions of multiple interpretations dominate music of any sort, and art more generally, the brilliance of the "Sunshine" lyric lies in its spotlighting how such concerns are amplified within a hip hop form that is characterized as deliberately and pointedly political...