The textuality of contemporary hiplife lyrics

Arthur, Peter (2014). The textuality of contemporary hiplife lyrics. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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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: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Centre for West African Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GR Folklore
M Music and Books on Music > M Music


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