Empire of Funk

Hip Hop and Representation in Filipina/o America (First Edition)
Edited by Mark R. Villegas, Kuttin' Kandi, and Roderick N. Labrador
Paperback, 348 pages
ISBN: 978-1-62661-283-9 ©2014
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    Empire of Funk: Hip Hop and Representation in Filipina/o America gives long overdue attention to the most popular cultural art form practiced by recent generations of Filipina/o American youth. A pioneering work, the anthology features the voices of artists, scholars, and activists to begin a dialogue on Filipina/o American youth culture and its relationship to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class. The text also offers the opportunity to question the future of Hip Hop itself. Chapters in Empire of Funk explore Filipina/o American Hip Hop aesthetics, community-building, the geography of Hip Hop in Filipina/o America, sexuality and power, activism and praxis, visual culture, and navigating the Hip Hop industry. This text gives readers a thoughtful introduction to an often-overlooked aspect of American society and culture. It can be used in courses dealing with race and ethnicity, American youth culture, popular culture in America, and immigrant communities.

    Dr. Roderick N. Labrador is an assistant professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. His research and community work focuses on race, ethnicity, class, culture, language, migration, education, hip hop, and cultural production in Hawai‘i, the US, and the Philippines.
    DJ Kuttin’ Kandi was born and raised in Queens, NY, and is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished female DJs in the world. She is also a writer, spoken word poet, theater performer, educator, Hip Hop Feminist, and community organizer. She is a member of DJ team champions the 5th Platoon, co-founder and DJ for the all female Hip-Hop group Anomolies, co-founder of the famed NY monthly open mic nights “Guerrilla Words” and co-founder of the coalition R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop (Representing Education, Activism & Community through Hip Hop). She currently resides in Chula Vista, CA, where she works at UC San Diego’s Women’s Center.
    Mark R. Villegas is a poet, filmmaker, blogger, and Ph.D. candidate in Culture and Theory at the University of California, Irvine. He is a navy brat who grew up in Yokosuka, Japan; Pascagoula, Mississippi; Long Beach, California; and Jacksonville, Florida.
    Hip hop has long been a culture that has brought together different types of people. But what many do not know is the incredible and powerful contributions of the Asian community to hip hop, the most dominant youth culture on the planet since the late 1970s. Empire of Funk: Hip Hop and Representation in Filipina/o America is a very necessary and spectacular contribution to correcting that great omission.
    — KEVIN POWELL, President/CoFounder, BK Nation

    Stepping up to the proverbial mic and throwing down is Kuttin Kandi, Mark R. Villegas and Roderick N. Labrador. They are bringing serious scholarship and ‘dropping mad science’ in this new, fascinating book called Empire of Funk, which chronicles the history and contributions Filipinos throughout the diaspora have had on Hip Hop.
    — DAVE "DAVEY D" COOK, journalist, adjunct professor at SF State, Host of Hard Knock radio

    Moving, historical, and powerful, the stories, the rhymes, the beats, the moves, the politics, the language, and the love all shine through and gives voice to a critical part of Hip Hop's history—a must read!
    — JLOVE Calderón, activist, social entrepreneur, and transmedia producer