Abstract

Hiplife music in Accra, Ghana combines hip hop sampling, scratching, and rap lyricism with older forms of highlife popular music, traditional storytelling, and formal proverbial oratory. Hiplife and its mass mediated circulation provides a decentralized set of signs, practices, and performances through which Ghanaian publics reconfigure their relationship to dispersed modes of production, consumption and speaking characteristic of Ghana's privatizing state. Symbols of bodily morality are the parallel poetic terrain upon which individual choice is imagined. Signs of bodily fluids and fluidity mark a moral geography of private desires and public indiscretions. The moral legitimacy of a microphone-wielding speaker is produced and contested in lyrics and critiques of politicians, pastors and the mundane struggles of daily life. Youth are produced as self-sovereign subjects who aspire to success through the structures of entrepreneurship. Hiplife reconfigures Pan-African liberation as an entrepreneurial project epitomized by the rap artist;

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1518
Print ISSN
0003-5491
Pages
pp. 631-668
Launched on MUSE
2009-09-10
Open Access
No
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