African American Hip Hop Culture

1458 Words 6 Pages
Daara J, a Senegalese rap group that includes N’Dongo D and Faada Freddy, has been vital in transforming Senegal, a third world country, into one of the most important and largest sites of hip hop music in Africa. They also served as pioneers in adopting this culture among West Africans, especially in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. This “hardcore” Senegalese duo was formed in 1992, originally with a third member, Lord Alaji Man, up until 2007 when the group officially changed its name to Daara J Family. This group, whose names means “school of life” in their native language, Wolof, continues to discuss political realities such as the history of African slavery, the politics of blackness, and ultimately, local, as well as Pan-African issues. …show more content…
In one of its most popular albums, Boomerang, released in 2003, the group, then known as just Daara J, blatantly discussed the realities of Senegal’s “system of historic, cultural, linguistic and political interaction and communication that has its origins in the process of slavery.” They use the metaphor of the boomerang to describe black politics, manifested through hip hop culture, as “coming back” to the African continent from European countries,” such as when they rapped, “born in Africa, brought up in America, hip-hop has come full circle,” to describe the globalization of this musical genre (Stemmler, 2013, pg. 114). However, unlike most African hip hop artists, Daara J Family signed to different international labels, like Polydor and Sony Records, because of their willingness to also discuss Pan-African issues, a phenomenon in which rappers’ music becomes more sellable as it relates to a larger, global market, versus artists who exclusively references local issues only. However, they continue to utilize “glocalization,” or “simultaneously engaging the intersections of global and local dynamics,” in order to combine international and national understandings of this music and its messages” (Morgan & Bennet, 2011, pg. …show more content…
115). This has led to the creation of visual narratives by “ the disadvantaged, overpopulated neighborhoods of Dakar’s center and peripheries,” a subgenre of hip hop that would become known as underground, or “hardcore” hip hop music. These artists defiantly rap about political issues, in a Muslim nation that prohibits them from discussing from explicit topics like sex and drugs, popular themes included within American hip hop (Appert, 2015, pg. 761). Unlike indigenous and commercial, mbalax, a genre which included praisesinging by griots, this particular new form of rap music, performed mostly by local artists, “defined hip hop not only through an emphasis on political consciousness and a disadvantaged economic status but equally through the absence of singing” and goes beyond what the artist is saying, but how they are saying it (Appert, 2015, pg. 760). These new artists not only provided an extension to the American hip hop movement, but they also “established a new definition for hip hop that was based on lyrical content, linguistic choices, and (the) musical,” liberalized with more artistic freedom (Appert, 2015, pg. 767). However, these underground artists who refuse to incorporate

Related Documents