Phat Beats, Dope Rhymes

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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.

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Wesleyan University Press
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