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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Global and African: exploring hip-hop artists in Philippi township, Cape Town
Authors:Becker, Heike
Dastile, NcebaISNI
Periodical:Anthropology Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:popular music
urban youth
Abstract:This article investigates hip hop, identity and global cultural flows among young people in contemporary Cape Town. It is based on ethnographic research undertaken in 2005 and focuses on hip hop performers who rap in an African language. The use of African languages in hip hop has given rise to the concept of 'spaza' hip hop, 'spaza' being the term used in South Africa for the unlicensed tuck shops set up by township residents during the apartheid era in order to challenge the economic disenfranchisement of black people. While the use of the term 'spaza' indicates a resistance to American influence on hip hop it does not necessarily entail 'closure' against transnational cultural flows or the search for a fixed, presumably 'traditional' African identity. Instead of dismissing forms of global popular youth culture as a threat to presumably 'authentic' African culture, the protagonists of the 'spaza' hip hop culture coming out of Capetonian townships have appropriated hip hop in their quest for alternative, fluid African identities in contemporary South Africa. An earlier version of the article was published in German in: Peripherie, Jg. 26, Nr. 104 (2006), S. 434-455. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]