Samoan hip hop

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Samoan hip hop is a growing subgenre of hip hop. The music and culture often travel back and forth between the United States and Samoa, creating layers of identity and authenticity in the music itself. At the root of hip hop culture in Samoa is a focus on dancing. This stems from the importance of dance in traditional Samoan culture, as explored by Katerina Martina Teaiwa from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She notes how important hip hop culture is for Samoan youth and how the arts are transforming Samoans in the many places they live, including outside of Samoa.[1] This is especially true for Samoan youth in California, Hawaii, and other places with communities of Samoan immigrants. In Los Angeles, for example, Samoan youth often engage in a style of hip hop dancing called popping-and-locking. April Henderson writes, "Recently arrived from the islands and painfully aware of the accents that marked them as 'foreign,' young Samoans in multi-ethnic neighborhoods earned status and respect through mastering the physical vocabularies of dance or sport."[2] Many hip hop artists and dancers travel back and forth between Samoa and their other homes, creating a global pathway for Samoan hip hop to continue developing and transforming.

Samoan Hip-Hop Artists


  1. ^ Teaiwa, Katerina Martina. "Dances of Life: American Samoa."
  2. ^ Henderson, April K. "Dancing Between Islands: Hip Hop and the Samoan Diaspora." In The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture, ed. by Dipannita Basu and Sidney J. Lemelle, 180-199. London; Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press, 200"