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In 2004, during the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, Adriana Helbig saw African musicians rapping in Ukrainian and wearing embroidered Ukrainian ethnic costumes. Her curiosity about how these musicians came to be performing during the protests led to her study of immigration, integration and identity in Hip Hop Ukraine: Music, Race, and African Migration (Indiana University Press, 2014). Through interviews with hip hop musicians and African immigrants in Ukraine, Helbig explores multi-valent racial imaginaries connected with U.S. hip hop and black identity construction through music. She also traces how Africans and Ukrainians both construct these identities by conducting research in Uganda, the home country of a number of African Ukrainian musicians. Multimedia resources for Hip Hop Ukraine are available through Indiana University Press Ethnomusicology Multimedia.

Adriana Helbig is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Pittsburgh. She directs the Carpathian Music Ensemble and is affiliated faculty in Global Studies and the Center for Russian and East European Studies.

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