“Double the Struggle” Latino/Chicano Hip-Hop and the East Coast-West Coast Dialectic

Mausfeld, Dianne Violeta (30 October 2021). “Double the Struggle” Latino/Chicano Hip-Hop and the East Coast-West Coast Dialectic (Unpublished). In: Transcultural Hip-Hop. Constructing and Contesting Identity, Space, and Place in the Americas and beyond. Universität Bern/Virtuell. 28.-30. Oktober 2021.

Latinos and Chicanos in hip-hop have not been studied nearly as much as their fellow African American artists. While it is largely acknowledged that Latinos took part in the creation of hip-hop in New York, their contributions in Los Angeles are rarely included in West Coast hip-hop history. At the same time, Latino actors are not represented in the popular narrative of the East Coast/West Coast conflict – which is surprising given that Chicano/Latino hip-hop are closely intertwined in the L.A. hip-hop scene. Aiming to address this research gap, my paper will locate L.A. Latino and Chicano artists in the east/west dialectic and explore how it affected their careers. Focusing on media coverage of Chicano and Latino artists, as well as personal and musical influences that occurred between the coasts on a micro- and macro-level, this paper offers a fresh perspective on the most famous conflict in hip-hop.
The methodology brings together ethnographic interviews with Chicano and Latino artists conducted in 2019 and discourse analysis of the East Coast-based hip-hop publication The Source. The coverage of Latino artists in The Source during the 1990s was scarce and clearly written from an East Coast perspective, often one-sided and even condescending. My ethnography showed that Latinos and Chicanos had “double the struggle” to build their careers in hip-hop during the 1990s, as they were not only affected by the place-based east/west antagonism, but also by ethno-cultural classification in the music industry. Expressing “Pan-Latinidad” (Rivera 2003), L.A. Latino artists strongly identified with Latinos in the east, yet bi-coastal collaborations rarely occurred. I argue that Latinos in hip-hop cannot be merely categorized in this binary opposition of east and west, but form a complex network of ethnic alliances, musical influences, and media representation.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Other Institutions > Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg)
06 Faculty of Humanities > Other Institutions > Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg) > Center for Global Studies (CGS)
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Institute of History, Iberian and Latin American History
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Musicology

UniBE Contributor:

Mausfeld, Dianne Violeta


700 Arts > 780 Music
900 History > 980 History of South America


[4] Swiss National Science Foundation


[UNSPECIFIED] Hip-Hop as a Transcultural Phenomenon. Latin American and Jamaican Cultural Signifiers in US Hip-Hop




Dianne Violeta Mausfeld

Date Deposited:

07 Mar 2022 14:38

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:09

Related URLs:

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Hip-Hop; Chicano; Latino; East Coast; West Coast



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