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.


Ibrahim Abraham is a postdoctoral research fellow in the discipline of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Helsinki, where he is working on an Academy of Finland funded research project on the changing culture of class and morality in South Africa. His recent past research focused on Christian popular music and youth culture in South Africa, including hip hop’s intersections with religion in an “occult economy.” Further details are available here.

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.

Antti KivijärviPhD in Sociology, works as a researcher in the Finnish Youth Research Network. In his doctoral studies, Kivijärvi examined the significance of ethnicity in youth peer relations. In addition to this, in his previous studies, Kivijärvi has focused on youth leisure, youth work and discrimination. Currently, he is studying issues such as marginalization, masculinities and social control in multi-ethnic contexts.

Antti-Ville Kärjä works as Academy Research Fellow at Music Archive Finland with a research project ”Music, Multiculturality and Finland”, funded by the Academy of Finland (2014–2018). He holds a title of docent (adjunct professorship) in popular music studies at the University of Helsinki. His interest in hip hop centres 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 doctoral 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 co-hosts the weekly Rap Scholar radio show on Bassoradio.

Elina Westinen works as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Language and Communication 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).