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African Hip Hop and Politics of Change in an Era of Rapid Globalization

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Abstract

African hip hop has emerged as a forum that allows youth to critically participate in the continent’s development and ideological processes in this era of rapid globalization. Arguing that a large proportion of youth in Africa are now involved in various forms of resistance and contestation of social and political practices and processes, I show that with the shrinking role of the state in providing social services due to global economic changes African hip hop has become a platform for challenging current ways of living and the reimagining of a new world. Taking the advantage of spaces created by market-driven economic structures, African youth are consistently thrusting themselves in the public space commenting on politics, economics, and culture in ways that were unimaginable in the last two decades of the 20th century. With examples from multiple countries in Africa, this paper shows how youth in Africa are participating in the shaping of the political and economic futures.

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