East African Hip Hop

East African Hip Hop : Youth Culture and Globalization

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In this book, Mwenda Ntarangwi analyzes how young hip hop artists in the East African nations of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania showcase the opportunities and challenges brought by the globalization of music. Combining local popular music traditions with American and Jamaican styles of rap, East African hip hop culture reflects the difficulty of creating commercially accessible music while honoring tradition and East African culture. Ntarangwi pays special attention to growing cross-border exchanges within East African hip hop, collaborations in recording music and performances, and themes and messages that transcend local geographic boundaries.







In using hip hop as a medium for discussing changes in East African political, economic, and social conditions, artists vocalize their concerns about economic policies, African identity, and political establishments, as well as important issues of health (such as HIV/AIDS), education, and poverty. Through three years of fieldwork, rich interviews with artists, and analysis of live performances and more than 140 songs, Ntarangwi finds that hip hop provides youth an important platform for social commentary and cultural critique and calls attention to the liberating youth music culture in East Africa.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 15.24mm | 317.51g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252034570
  • 9780252034572

Review quote

"A groundbreaking book on popular culture."--Pambazuka News "Ntarangwi deploys engaging hip-hop lyrics to convey the dynamism of popular culture, as global swagger is localized through inside jokes, allusion to colonial resistance, and earthly discussion of what it takes to survive and thrive. . . . Recommended."--Choice "A powerful look into global phenomena that have materialized in many countries, including in its home in the United States."--Journal of Folklore Research
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About Mwenda Ntarangwi

Mwenda Ntarangwi is an associate professor of anthropology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the author of Gender, Performance, and Identity: Understanding Swahili Cultural Realities Through Songs and coeditor of African Anthropologies: History, Critique and Practice.
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Table of contents

Preface; Acknowledgments; Chapter One: Globalization and Youth Agency in East Africa; Chapter Two: Hip hop and African Identity in Contemporary Globalization; Chapter Three: Move Over Boys, the Girls are Here: Hip Hop and Gendered Identities; Chapter Four: Economic Change and Political Deception; Chapter Five: Morality, Health, and the Politics of Sexuality in an Era of HIV/AIDS; Conclusions; Note on Hip Hop Artistes; Glossary; References
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