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Hip Hop Ukraine

Music, Race, and African Migration

By Adriana Helbig
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Indiana University Press, 2014

ISBN 978-0-253-01204-3

258 Pages


In Adriana Helbig's Hip Hop Ukraine, we enter into a world of urban music and dance competitions, hip-hop parties, hip-hop classes, and recording studio culture to explore unique sites of interracial encounters among African students, African immigrants, and local populations in Ukraine. Combining ethnographic research with music, media, and policy analysis, Helbig examines how localized forms of hip hop create social and political spaces for an interracial youth culture to embody issues of human rights and racial equality. Helbig maps the complex trajectories of musical influence between the United States and the African continent, Africa and the former Soviet Union, and the former Soviet Union and the United States, to show how hip hop has become the language of social protest in post-socialist society and a vehicle for social change.


1. Music and Black Identity in the Soviet Union
2. Music and Black Experiences in Post-Soviet Ukraine
3. Commercial and Underground Hip Hop in Ukraine
4. Afro-Ukrainian Hip Hop Fusion
5. Hip Hop in Uganda



Adriana N. Helbig is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Pittsburgh and an affiliated faculty member in Cultural Studies, Women's Studies, and Global Studies at the Center for Russian and East European Studies. She is author (with Oksana Buranbaeva and Vanja Mladineo) of The Culture and Customs of Ukraine.

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