Hip Hop in Finland: Genres and Generations

About the network

The research network Hip Hop in Finland: Genres and Generations is an initiative of the Finnish Youth Research Society. The research network was established in 2014 with an aim to provide a platform for sharing, mapping, and developing research made in Finland that is related to hip hop culture in all its forms.

Up-to-date information about events and other activities can be found on the network’s Facebook page.

Leading group:

Elina Westinen, chair of the network, works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies, University of Jyväskylä. Drawing on insights from sociolinguistics, discourse studies, study of multimodality and ethnography, her postdoctoral work deals with (’new’) ethnicities and (non)belonging in Finnish migrant hip hop in both digital and physical contexts. She was previously part of the Academy of Finland project Language and Superdiversity: (Dis)identification in Social Media (2012–2016).  Her doctoral thesis (2014) explores the discursive construction of authenticity in Finnish hip hop culture by focusing on three Finnish rap artists (Cheek, Pyhimys, and Stepa).

Dragana Cvetanović is a PhD candidate at the Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies and Aleksanteri Institute at the University of Helsinki. She is a sociolinguist finalizing her doctoral thesis on language, identity and performance in Finnish and Serbian rap lyrics. Her research contributes to the discussion on global sociolinguistics and questions on trans-modern identities. She also teaches and works on various topics on contemporary Balkan (cultural) history and youth studies.

Tuomas Järvenpää is a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Humanities at the University of Eastern Finland. Järvenpää works in the fields of cultural anthropology and cultural studies, and his current research project is an empirical study of Christian hip hop music in Finland.

Antti-Ville Kärjä works as Professor of Cultural Music Research at the Sibelius Academy of the University of Arts Helsinki. He holds a Title of Docent (adjunct professorship) in Popular Music Studies at the University of Helsinki. His interest in hip hop centers on the historiography and identity politics of rap music in Finland.

Inka Rantakallio works as an Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher in Musicology at the University of Helsinki. In her postdoctoral project (2021–24), she focuses on women rappers in Finnish hip hop and the role and meaning of feminism, gender, race, and whiteness in the construction of artist identities and artistic expression. Her doctoral thesis (2019) centers on four Finnish underground rappers (Ameeba, Julma Henri, Khid, and RPK) and discourses of authenticity, spirituality, and atheism. Her publications deal with the various intersections of rap music, ideologies, and identities. She also works as a freelance journalist and DJ.

Annukka Saaristo is a PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on local identities and their significance for rap artists from Espoo. She has also worked as a Youth worker in Espoo and Helsinki prior to her university studies and holds a Master’s degree in Folklore Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences. Saaristo is interested in popular culture and identity building in different communities and she aims to write research papers that everyone can understand.

Venla Sykäri  is researcher and docent affiliated with the discipline of Folklore Studies at the University of Helsinki. Her research interests include hip hop’s oral and lyrical practices, particularly freestyle and battle rap, and the processes of disseminating knowledge and values in informal, grassroots practice contexts and in rap workshops.