[PAST EVENT] Hip Hop's Bollywood Diva: Race, Music, and Solidarity in the Career of Rajé Shwari
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- Open to the public
This lecture will explore the fifteen-year-long career of South Asian American rap singer Rajé Shwari. Known for her work with prominent African American hip-hop artists like Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, and Timbaland, Powell interrogates Shwari’s collaborations for the ways in which they bridge U.S. hip-hop and Bollywood in order to create solidarity between African American and South Asian (American) communities. This talk refers to this musical bridge as the “sound of Bollyhood,” and argues that it can help us imagine new worlds of coalition building in and for our contemporary moment.
Elliott H. Powell is an Assistant Professor of American Studies and the Program in Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota. His work sits at the intersections of race, sexuality, politics, and music. Writings from these research areas are published or forthcoming in philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism, GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies, The Black Scholar, and the Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Studies. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled The Other Side of Things: African American and South Asian Collaborative Sounds in Black Popular Music, which examines African American and South Asian diasporic collaborative music-making practices in U.S.-based jazz, funk, and hip hop since the 1960s.