Hip-Hop in Africa: Prophets of the City and Dustyfoot Philosophers

ClarkcoverHip-Hop in Africa: Prophets of the City and Dustyfoot Philosophers by Msia Kibona Clark 

Throughout Africa, artists use hip-hop both to describe their lives and to create shared spaces for uncensored social commentary, feminist challenges to patriarchy, and resistance against state institutions, while at the same time engaging with the global hip-hop community. In Hip-Hop in Africa, Msia Kibona Clark examines some of Africa’s biggest hip-hop scenes and shows how hip-hop helps us understand specifically African narratives of social, political, and economic realities.

The book is an examination of hip hop as form of cultural representation in Africa. The book looks at the emergence of hip hop culture, and the fact that the history of hip hop in Africa has greatly influenced its use to represent marginalized voices, social movements, and identities. The presentation of counter narratives in African hip hop contributes to our understandings of culture and politics in Africa. The book takes a constructivist approach to cultural representation, arguing that cultural representations construct our understanding of society. In this sense, the hip hop culture produced by African artists helps to construct our understanding of politics, human rights, gender, migration, and identity.

The book includes several color images of hip hop culture around Africa.

The book features a foreword by Dr. Quentin Williams, Senior Lecturer of Linguistics at University of Western Cape in South Africa. Dr. Williams is a respected well known scholar of South African hip hop. His work specializes in the relationship between language and identity in South African hip hop.

The book features an afterword by Dr. Akosua Adomako Ampofo, Professor of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon. Dr. Ampofo is the former Director of the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana and is an internationally known African feminist scholar who has written extensively on gender socialization and African feminist thought.

Hip-Hop in Africa is a tribute to a genre and its artists as well as a timely examination that pushes the study of music and diaspora in critical new directions. Accessibly written by one of the foremost experts on African hip-hop, this book will easily find its place in the classroom.

Msia Kibona Clark is an associate professor in the Department of African Studies at Howard University. She has been writing about and photographing African hip-hop culture since 2009.


The resources on this site provide information and links that compliment content in the book, and allow for further exploration of some of the arguments the book makes. The resources also feature information on artists discussed in the book

Links to audio/visual material and to artists featured in the book, information on relevant scholarship to further explore the topics, & discussion questions that can be used by educators and community groups.

Chapter Overview: This is an overview of the chapters in the book. The link to the chapters provide further details about the specific resources available in those chapters.

Information on artists mentioned in the book: This is a list of many of the artists discussed in the book, with links to their social media profiles.

Press and Media: Articles and interviews on the book

BBC+Focus+on+Afica+website+screenshot

Author: Msia Kibona Clark

Associate Professor in the African Studies Department at Howard University. Professor of the course Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa. Researcher and photographer of hip hop in Africa.

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