Abstract

This article shares a research study about JJ, an 18-year-old, Black, bisexual, genderqueer rapper who was born in Germany, spent most of childhood in England, and moved to the Southeastern United States as a teenager. While JJ faced challenges based on their many complex and intersecting identities, JJ’s story describes hip-hop as a space in which they experienced multiple elements of resilience, including expressing themselves, feeling protected, and experiencing persistence. JJ’s experiences and perceptions defy monolithic notions of identity and also confront limited conceptions of hip-hop’s relationship to gender and sexuality. Finally, JJ offers insights into their school music experiences focusing on issues of relevance and appropriation. Discussion and reflections offer considerations for music educators and scholars.

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