HHAP Ep. 61: An African Hip Hop Palaver

In this palaver, we have a lively chat with Ghanaian hip hop/hiplife scholar Dr. Nii Kotei Nikoi. We talked about the hiplife and hip hop music industry in Ghana, especially one of the country’s most popular artist’s Sarkodie. Nii discusses the structure of Ghana’s music industry, the way artists construct their images, and the role of class (and language) in Ghana’s popular music scene. We also get into an interesting conversation around collaborations between African and Diaspora artists in Beyonce’s Black is King project and the depictions of Africa in the Black Panther film.

Nii Kotei Nikoi is an assistant professor of Global Media and Digital Studies at The College of Wooster in Ohio. He studies African popular culture, and has a special focus on how popular culture reinforces and challenges existing ideas around race, gender, and sexuality. His work is influenced by his background in graphic design and documentary photography. Currently, his research examines development discourse in Ghanaian popular culture.

Check out his latest article, “Hiplife Music in Ghana: Postcolonial Performances of the Good Life.” in the International Journal of Communication  14 (2020): 19.

He also hosts the podcast Our Culture. Season 1 of the podcast includes on several reflections on a range of topics.

EPISODE CONTENTS
1:50 The performance of material success in popular music in Ghana
8:08 The popular use of Ghanaian languages and clothing in the Ghanaian music scene
15:00 An analysis of the class divides and language choices in the beef between Sarkodie and M.anifest
26:20 The participation of women in hiplife
33:17 African scholars doing (hip hop) research at home
48:03 I try to get Nii to take the bait and engage in the discussion on Nigerians “borrowing” music from Ghana
52:52 Beyonce & the collaboration with African artists on the Black is King project
1:03:03 Black Panther & the homogenization of Africa, and the presence of Africa film industry in general

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival

The Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival and Conference is seeking submissions for performers and presenters for their 15th annual event to be held at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, on March 26-29, 2020. This year’s theme is “15 Years of Hip Hop: Past, Present and Future”. This year, the festival is honoring the roots of hip hop as a vehicle of empowerment and resistance for marginalized voices while celebrating how hip hop has also dynamically changed as a movement through time. Looking back in order to step forward, this 15th year’s focus is to honor the foundations of hip hop as well as to celebrate the artists that keep hip hop alive. We invite all artists from around the world to celebrate the roots, seeds, and branches of hip hop as we honor how it has existed, developed, mobilized, and sparked change throughout the decades.

2 Post-Docs in Global Hip Hop Studies in Ireland

Two Post-Doctoral Researcher posts in Hip Hop Studies, are available at the Department of Music in the School of Film, Music, and Theatre at University College Cork.

We look to hire two Post-Doctoral Researchers with specialization in the hip hop cultures of any world culture region(s) outside of Europe and North America. Especially welcome (but not necessary) will be hip hop scholars with specialisms in two or more cultural/musical/linguistic areas (e.g. Japanese and Mandarin; Wolof, French, and Arabic; Spanish, Tagalog, and English).

HHAP Episode 37: Mohamed Benloulou on hip-hop, politics, & (Black) liberation in Algeria

Mohamed Amine Benloulou is an Algerian hip hop scholar & beat maker based in Algiers. This interview took place in April, in the midst of protests in Algeria calling for the stepping down of the president and his government. Mohamed spoke about the history of hip hop in Algeria, historical connection between Algeria and Black liberation movements in the US, the influence of hip hop in historical and contemporary social movements in Algeria, and the role of racial and ethnic identities in Algerian hip hop.

Mohamed also discusses research on the connection between the Battle of Algiers film and hip hop, as well as cultural diplomacy and hip hop, as well as challenges around hip hop studies in Algeria.

Mohamed’s Soundcloud page: soundcloud.com/mohamedaminebenloulou Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DJAMINE47beatmaker/

The episode features the song “Allo le Système!” by Algerian emcee Raja Meziane. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-ajCGiDlrg (w/English subtitles).
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/rajamezianeofficielleTwitter: https://twitter.com/RajaMeziane

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