Hip Hop Africa

Hip Hop Africa

New African Music in a Globalizing World
Edited by Eric Charry
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/23/2012
Format: Paperback 14 b&w illus., 1 music exx.
ISBN: 978-0-253-00575-5
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Hip Hop Africa explores a new generation of Africans who are not only consumers of global musical currents, but also active and creative participants. Eric Charry and an international group of contributors look carefully at youth culture and the explosion of hip hop in Africa, the embrace of other contemporary genres, including reggae, ragga, and gospel music, and the continued vitality of drumming. Covering Senegal, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, and South Africa, this volume offers unique perspectives on the presence and development of hip hop and other music in Africa and their place in global music culture.

Author Bio

Eric Charry is Associate Professor of Music at Wesleyan University. He is author of Mande Music: Traditional and Modern Music of the Maninka and Mandinka of Western Africa and has published extensively on music in Africa.


“Hip Hop Africa explores a new generation of African performers and musicians who are not only consumers of global music but also active participants in the worldwide culture of hip hop and rap. ”

“Hip Hop Africa is recommended for scholars and students with an interest in contemporary African popular culture and urbanism. Given the breadth of its content, it will be a particularly useful resource for graduate and undergraduate courses on global hip hop, African popular music, and urban African culture.”
 — Research in African Literatures

“Hip Hop Africa is a welcome addition to the literature on popular culture and music in Africa.”
 — Journal of African Cultural Studies

“[R]eaders interested in contemporary African culture, hip-hop, world music, globalization, and youth cultural identities in the twenty-first century should find Charry’s Hip Hop Africa to be a useful addition to their libraries. ”
 — Black Camera

“Readers with interests in African hip hop and urban youth cultures will find this book indispensable.”
 — African Studies Review

“[Eric Charry] has assembled remarkable essays by experts who offer deep historical and cultural connections showing how Africans shape rap to fit their local circumstances.”
 — Africa Today

“Impressively details hip hop’s evolution throughout Africa . . . [and] presents important arguments in African hip hop scholarship, including discussions on African hip hop’s linkages with US hip hop, and debates over authenticity and imitation. . . . . The authors in the volume provide extensive background information on hip hop’s evolution throughout Africa . . . much of the volume’s strength lies in its examination of local hip hop scenes . . . a good look urban music in Africa . . . a solid contribution to scholarship on African hip hop.2013”
 — African Studies Quarterly

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Table of Contents

African Rap: A Capsule History Eric Charry
Part I. Rap Stories (Ghana and South Africa)
1. The Birth of Ghanaian Hiplife: Urban Style, Black Thought, Proverbial Speech Jesse Weaver Shipley
2. A Genre Coming of Age: Transformation in the Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture of South Africa Lee Watkins
Part II. Griots and Messengers (Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, and Malawi)
3. The Rapper as Modern Griot: Reclaiming Ancient Traditions Patricia Tang
4. Promises of the Chameleon: Reggae Artist Tiken Jah Fakoly’s Intertextual Contestation of Power in Côte d’Ivoire Daniel Reed
5. Style, Message, and Meaning in Malawian Youth Rap and Ragga Performance John Fenn
Part III. Identity and Hybridity (Mali and Nigeria)
6. Mapping Cosmopolitan Identities: Rap Music and Male Youth Culture in Mali Dorothea E. Schulz
7. Nigerian Hip Hop: Exploring a Black World Hybrid Stephanie Shonekan
Part IV. East Coast (Kenya and Tanzania)
8. The Local and Global in Kenyan Rap and Hip Hop Culture Jean Ngoya Kidula
9. Infinite Flavors: Imitation and Innovation in the Music, Dress, and Camps of Tanzanian Youth Alex Perullo
Part V. Popular Music Panoramas (Ghana and Malawi)
10. Contemporary Ghanaian Popular Music Since the 1980s John Collins
11. Popular Music and Young Male Audiences in Contemporary Malawi Jochen Seebode
Part VI. Drumming (Mali)
12. Urban Drumming: Traditional Celebration Music in a West African City (Bamako) Rainer Polak
Music for an African 21st-Century Eric Charry
List of Contributors

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