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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Without reservations : native hip hop and identity in the music of W.O.R.

  • Author(s): Lechusza, Alan
  • et al.

This dissertation focuses on how the Native hip hop group WithOut Rezervation (W.O.R.) incorporates hip hop both as genre and culture, to construct a contemporary sense of identity. Through a critical review of contemporary Native identity within hip hop culture, this dissertation will illustrate that there exists a point of dialogue between the Native and non-Native communities. Taking into account the cultural and political histories of the forced diaspora of Native people into the urban centers, this dissertation will examine the persistent identity and (mis -)representation of Native people within hip hop history through the integration of the sample Apache. A deconstruction and re-construction of the pluralities present within contemporary Native identity is articulated through the development of three identity formations, tribal, inter-tribal, and multi-tribal. This dissertation addresses how W.O.R. re-presents and expresses the socio- political issues of stereotype, gender, oral traditions, and contemporary identity negotiation in the lyrics, rhythm, and hip hop techniques of sampling and scratchinʼ. This dissertation serves to the benefit of the large Native and non-Native intellectual communities by presenting a contemporary understanding of the expressive cultures present within the genre of Native hip hop. Further, this dissertation seeks to serve as a critical model that permits the expansion, development, and further investigation of other Native musics

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