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Phat Beats, Dope Rhymes
Hip Hop Down Under Comin' Upper
Ian Maxwell


2003 • 320 pp. 6 illus. 6 x 9"
Music / African-American Studies

$26.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6638-6

How Aussies came to belong to the hip-hop nation.

Ian Maxwell’s sophisticated story of Australia’s hip-hop scene follows the lives of a small, influential group of rappers from Sydney’s Westside in the early 1990s. Maxwell conveys the excitement of the scene and the struggles of the white musicians to define Australian hip-hop, showing how discourses of nationalism and community are played out in everyday life. Whether describing composition in a bedroom, confrontation in a radio studio, tagging in a subway line, or breaking in front of a stage, Maxwell evokes the intensity of feeling and the complexity of these key experiences.

Phat Beats, Dope Rhymes looks at the many practices of hip-hop—graffiti, rapping, break dancing performances, compositional process, lyrics, music, and fanzines—and captures the fluid contradictions along with the bodily pleasures that make up the scene. With acute sensitivity, Maxwell shows how these young men negotiate issues of identity by imagining themselves within an international hip-hop nation. The book is rich in detail and theoretically innovative, A glossary of terms is included.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“This is one of the smartest books on popular music that I have ever read. It will stand as one of the definitive ethnographies of popular music practice.” —Barry Shank, author of Dissonant Identities

“Maxwell’s approach to the subject is exciting, and will interest people who might not otherwise have much interest in hip-hop in Sydney. The ethnographic material is fascinating, as is Maxwell’s analysis of it.”Timothy Taylor, Associate Professor, Columbia University

IAN MAXWELL is Chair of the Department of Performance Studies at the University of Sydney. He is a contributor to Global Noise (Wesleyan, 2002).

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:52:29 -0500