MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

Political Beats in the Alps: On Politics in the Early Stages of Austrian Hip Hop Music

Journal of Black Studies

Published online on


While fun is the ostensible object of hip hop music, the politically conscious aspect of hip hop culture was part of Austrian hip hop from the very beginning. Against a dominant view that Austrian hip hop was an apolitical genre carried by White Austrian middle-class artists only, this article explores the political messages in the early stages of German-speaking Austrian hip hop music. Although only few hip hop artists—especially marginalized youth and people of color—explicitly connected issues of racism in Austria with the African American experience, many Austrian rappers conveyed a political message that related to their immediate environment. U.S.-American hip hop introduced rappers to a more global perspective on politics and was thus an educational cultural project. At the same time, most hip hop groups targeted the political far-right. And racism in a unique Austrian context had even supported political movements.