Clare Geraghty - 'Queer feminist hip hop: intersectional beings and Afro-Cuban flavors’

 

 Among the ways of knowing that have historically been devalued is hip hop. The killing of alternative knowledge flows takes place in many ways, such as through racialisation and gendering as subordinate, as well as association with criminality and delinquency. Hip hop grows at the intersection of these issues. This paper focuses on queer feminist hip hop collective, Krudxs Cubensi. Originating in La Habana, Cuba, and currently based in Austin, Texas, Lxs Krudxs create a fusion of ‘fierce feminist hip hop and afro-cuban flavors.’ Lxs Krudxs trouble racist and misogynistic tropes by diversifying this musical genre as non-binary lesbians of colour and members of the Cuban diaspora in the US. A decolonial approach is central to my work and is informed by Black feminist theorists such as bell hooks and the Coombahee River Collective. For me, this ‘queer place from which to know differently’ is hip hop. Subjugated knowledges take on an added significance when considered in the Cuban context, where there is a strong divide between ‘high’ and ‘low’ art forms. Lxs Krudxs contribute to disrupting norms within hip hop as a genre, through their expression of queer joy as trans* people of colour who are active agents of resistance. Queer theory has much in common with hip hop, an art form that grew from the margins as a means of political resistance. In the same way that queer studies transcends traditional borders between disciplines, hip hop is transnational in its essence and would not exist without transnational solidarity. Hip hop is intrinsically queer because it rejects the current situation of people experiencing multiple oppressions and seeks something better. This paper explores how countercurrent knowledge flows, such as queer feminist hip hop, can enable us to better understand and ultimately improve the lives of ‘intersectional beings’ such as Krudxs Cubensi.