Doctoral candidate edits anthology on hip-hop music

September 30, 2008

Murali Balaji, a doctoral candidate and lecturer in the College of Communications at Penn State, has co-edited an anthology of articles that examines the influence of South Asian-Americans on hip-hop music.

"Desi Rap: South Asian Americans in Hip Hop" (2008, Lexington Books) includes essays written by South Asian-American activists, academics and hip-hop artists that explore four main ideas: hip-hop as a means of expression of racial identity, class status, gender, sexuality, racism and culture; the appropriation of black racial identity by South Asian-American consumers of hip-hop; the furthering of the discourse on race and ethnic identity in the United States through hip-hop; and the exploration of South Asian-Americans' use of hip-hop as a form of social protest.

A journalist who worked for The Washington Post, St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press and Wilmington (Del.) News Journal, Balaji has compiled a volume that explores the connection between South Asian-Americans and hip-hop as both a sociopolitical/cultural movement and performative identity.

"Desi Rap," a 198-page paperback, will be available to purchase from the publisher's Web site,, starting Oct. 28. It may be ordered online at as well. Balaji is the author of two books, "House of Tinder" and "The Professor and The Pupil: The Politics of W.E.B. DuBois and Paul Robeson." In addition to "Desi Rap," his forthcoming publications include "Culturing Manhood and Masculinities," an anthology exploring the meaning and construct of masculinity around the world.

Balaji earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota and proceeded to amass more than a decade of professional journalism experience. Before coming to Penn State, he taught communications classes at Temple University, the University of Minnesota and Delaware State University

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009