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Hip Hop as Social Commentary in Accra and Dar es Salaam

Summary of Article , 2012

The paper examines African hiphop as social commentary in the contexts of Accra, Ghana and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Clark notes that the two nations have both served as battlegrounds in the struggle for Pan Africanism, non-alignment and socialist ideas. The paper explores the ways in which hiphop in Africa has become popularized and has empowered youth to participate in global discourses. Clark suggests that the structural adjustment policies of the 1980s affected the economies of Ghana and Tanzania, sparking unrest among the middle and underclass which was then channeled into the music. A distinction is also drawn between Hip-Life and Bongo Flava (indigenous styles) and hiphop music; however, the author notes that some artists classify themselves in both camps. Clark explores the social commentary in the music, using Sarkodie, Yaa Pono and Fokn Bois as examples. The paper closes with a call to broader gender representation and more overtly political content.

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