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:

Venla Sykäri, chair of the network, is researcher and docent affiliated with the discipline of Folklore Studies at the University of Helsinki. Her research interests focus on 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.

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 theses 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.

Malin Fransberg is a PhD candidate at Tampere University. She is a sociologist specialized in subcultural theories, gender and cultural criminology. She is currently writing her ethnographic doctoral thesis on the Helsinki based graffiti subculture.

Tuomas Järvenpää is a post-doctoral 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  graduated from Study of Religions at the University of Helsinki, and is currently a PhD candidate in Musicology at the University of Turku. Her doctoral thesis is an interdisciplinary case study focusing on four Finnish underground rappers and discourses of authenticity, spirituality, and atheism. She lectures and writes about hip hop culture in both academic and popular settings, and also works as a DJ.

Annukka Saaristo is currently writing her Master’s thesis in Folklore studies at the University of Helsinki. Her focus is on local identities and their significance for rap artists from the Espoo neighborhood of Olari. She has also worked as a Youth worker in Espoo and Helsinki prior to her university studies and holds 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.

Elina Westinen 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 PhD thesis (2014) explored the discursive construction of authenticity in Finnish hip hop culture by focusing on three Finnish rap artists (Cheek, Pyhimys, and Stepa).