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The textuality of contemporary hiplife lyrics

Arthur, Peter (2014)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This research looks at the textuality of hiplife – the Ghanaian version of hip hop – by investigating the hiplife discursive and non discursive practices. The thesis is that hiplife is a major platform for Ghanaian youth cultural expression. I choose the qualitative methodology because it meets the subtle demand of an enquiry on expressive culture like hiplife. Using focus group discussion, interviews and participant observation to collect data from the whole country with emphasis on the four main cities, the research analyses transcribed data and comes up with various findings. These include the fact that hiplife started with the quest of Ghanaian youth for a syncretic culture, the combination of local and foreign cultures, mediated by DJs, artistes and sites. It also reveals that it is the rhythm of the Akan drum language that provides the rhythmic complexion of hiplife. Again, as a platform for youth expression, hiplife expresses new values – new social truths, a common destiny and protest against hegemony. Furthermore, hiplife appropriates the “looking glass” concept to circulate its cultural expression and ideologies in and out of Ghana. Such a visibility is also taken advantage of by the Ghanaian women to address their gender concerns.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Barber, Karin and Skinner, Kate
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Centre of West African Studies
Subjects:DT Africa
GR Folklore
M Music
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:4889
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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