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Glocalization Trends: The Case of Hiplife Music in Contemporary Ghana

Summary of Article , 2009

Oduro-Frimpong examines Hip-Life, which he considers a Ghanaian reappropriation of U.S. rap music, suggesting that the musical phenomenon provides an interesting case study for the “glocalization" concept. Oduro-Frimpong suggests that cultural exchanges rarely involve simplistic, top-down cultural imperialism or the horizontal hegemony of globalization. Instead, the local interacts with the global, creating new cultural elements. The paper problematizes the concept, noting that highlife itself is the product of a globalized world given that it is synthesized from Western and West African elements. Oduro-Frimpong draws comparisons between highlife and Hip-Life songwriting and then between Hip-Life and American rap music, noting similarities in visual aesthetic as well as naming traditions. He, however, concludes that the adaptation of American rap for a Ghanaian context suggests a distinct “cultural reconversion".

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