It is often used to express religious mes sages, and even hip-hop contains a sub genre of gospel rap. Popular music also carries political and social messages. The most famous example is Fela Kuti, the king of Afrobeat, whose inflamma tory lyrics (in Nigerian Pidgin) and non traditional lifestyle endeared him to mil lions inside and outside Nigeria. Local music, especially in the Hausa north, might address a particular political can didate or officeholder, or it might exhort the populace to take a particular action. For the past several years, the most wide ly listened-to music has been American inspired rap and dance hip-hop based on local beats and enhanced with music production technology. As young Nige rian rappers - who as children idolized American stars like Tupac, KRS-One, Jay-Z, and Nas - are coming of age and have greater access to production equip ment, Nigerian rap is becoming increas ingly popular. Artist JJC talks about avoiding guns because "we got too much drama already." For other Nigerian art ists, avoiding gangster posturing is about "keeping it real." Says GrandSUN, "We fight with our hands." Certainly, on a continent where oral literatures and lit eracies have been culturally and politi cally central for longer than written his tory is capable of documenting, African hip-hop heads also fight with their words. As global hip-hop maintains the tradi tion of American hip-hop, it must also account for equally powerful local tradi tions of art, culture, and protest. It must represent life on a local level. The critique and constant examination of the genre is at the heart of hip-hop culture. It focuses on growth and analysis - even when it also takes American hip-hop to task for its gangster posturing, as K'naan does in "What's Hardcore?": Dcedalus, the Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences This content downloaded from 220.127.116.11 on Fri, 29 Sep 2017 06:14:45 UTC All use subject to
I'm a spit these verses cause I feel annoyed, And I'm not gonna quit till I fill the void, If I rhyme about home and got descriptive, I'd make Fifty Cent look like Limp Biskit, It's true, and don't make me rhyme about you, I'm from where the kids is addicted to glue, Get ready, he got a good grip on the machete. Make rappers say they do it for love like R-Kelly, It's HARD, Harder than Harlem and Compton intertwined, Harder than harboring Bin Laden and rewind, To that earlier part when I was kinda like "We begin our day by the way of the gun, Rocket propelled grenades blow you away if you front, We got no police ambulances or fire fighters, We start riots by burning car tires, They looting, and everybody starting shooting." [-.] So what's hardcore? Really? Are you hardcore? Hmm. So what's hardcore? Really? Are you hardcore? Hmm.61 K'naan criticizes the senseless pos turing in U.S. hip-hop as a way to cri tique the senseless destruction and oppression in Somalia and to indict a world that does not have the stomach or heart to make a difference.
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