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(searched for: doi:10.1075/prag.26.2.01tos)
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Published: 6 May 2021
Celebrity Studies, Volume 13, pp 429-447; https://doi.org/10.1080/19392397.2021.1918011

Abstract:
Today, differences in popular music genres and practices can be attributed to different peoples and cultures of the world in much the same sense as the shared and varied degrees of personality cult traditions. In this respect, Nigeria ranks amongst others with a unique and demonstrable popular music and personality cult culture. Of the available literature, none addresses the relationship between popular music and personality cult in Nigeria. This article is the first to do so. Here, we go beyond a mere analysis of the attributes of an idolised persona in, say, Naira Marley to examining both the ideological and sociological determinants––of literacy, media representation, social class, musical taste, deviancy, and demographic differences––that broadly support Nigerian popular music and personality cult practices. Through synthesising various views of the concept of personality cult with quasi-ethnographic data from some devotees of the Marlian cult, this article provides a critical intervention into how such activities as listening, imitating, and idolising are constructed forms of hero-worship in the Nigerian pop music scene.
Published: 29 October 2020
African Identities pp 1-18; https://doi.org/10.1080/14725843.2020.1828040

Abstract:
Unarguably, hip hop has a wide acceptance among Nigerians. One of the obvious reasons for this is its fusion with some aspects of indigenous cultures and experiences. Despite the existence of several scholarly engagements on linguistic and identity formations in hip hop in Nigeria, there is however a need to further explore how the emerging urban youth lifestyles are coded in hip hop metaphor. Hence, in this paper, I focus on the music of Abolore Akande (9ice) and his use of metaphors to discuss urban lifestyles in the Nigerian social space. Through a qualitative analysis of his song texts, using Lakoff and Johnson’s conceptual metaphor theory, I argue that these metaphors and their conceptual domains are discursive paradigms through which certain notions about sex, gender, social status and crime in contemporary Nigeria can be graphically visualized and understood. I conclude that rather than regarding them as meaningless, unmotivated or bare linguistic practices instantiated only for aesthetic consumption, metaphors in Naija hip hop are significant in grounding and projecting the thriving urban social realities in Nigeria.
Published: 4 June 2020
Journal of African Cultural Studies, Volume 33, pp 441-455; https://doi.org/10.1080/13696815.2020.1762169

Abstract:
The twenty-first century ushered in a new era in African popular culture. Hip hop, a popular genre of musical expression, which borrowed extensively from Western and African idioms and iconography of power and social relations, took a decisive turn. The themes and narratives of twenty-first century African hip hop mirror similar global forms in their conception and glorification of fandom, stardom, commodification and sexualization of women’s bodies, violence, and superfluous display of wealth. In this article, I examine some of the rare instances in which Nigerian male hip hop artists have used their talent and poetic license to call attention of the public to the economic and socio-political disenfranchisement of women. This article goes beyond a content analysis of the songs to underscore how core transformations in Nigeria’s democratic process since 1999, when civil rule was reintroduced, have shaped the circumstances under which hip hop artists rethink their sexualization and commodification of women’s bodies.
Published: 21 April 2020
Journal: Continuum
Continuum, Volume 34, pp 590-600; https://doi.org/10.1080/10304312.2020.1757038

Abstract:
Mobile telephony and the Internet have ensured that digitized communication is a routine in which everyone engages. Since music artistes use their songs as archival tools in documenting social events and changes, we consider, in this study, the (re)presentation of Computer Mediated Communication in Nigerian Hip-hop. To this end, six purposively selected songs by six Nigerian hip-hoppers are subjected to textual analysis. It is noted that the cross re-territorialization of CMC in Hip-hop was explicated thematically through depictions of internet crime, romance and the necessity to be successful regardless of prevailing challenges. Slangification using technology-based lexis was further identified as a means to code online criminal activities as well as sexual relations. The findings reinvigorate a post-digital popular culture phenomenon and reflect Nigerian Hip-Hop as a cultural signifier of the contemporary crisis of identity and prevailing post-colonial realities
, Ayobami O. Onanuga
Published: 2 January 2020
Contemporary Music Review, Volume 39, pp 137-166; https://doi.org/10.1080/07494467.2020.1753478

Abstract:
Most linguistic studies on Nigerian hip hop (NHH) are textual in orientation, focusing on language use in lyrics. However, the social manifestations of the genre have mainly been discussed from the sociological perspective, ignoring the linguistic influences on the youthful audience. With a focus on violence and sexuality, the present study combines qualitative and quantitative research methods in fulfilling its objectives. This involves the analysis of the linguistic presentation of violence and sexuality in 20 selected lyrics. In addition, a structured questionnaire and focus group discussions administered to students from a Nigerian university supplement the examination of the interactivity of Nigerian hip hop on communicative practices. Sexual and violent slang, expressions, and their graphic representations are rife in NHH and are also reflected in students’ communicative practises. While the relationship between NHH and youth linguistic behaviour may not be causal—revealing instead the democratisation of expressions within the Nigerian environment—it is observed that NHH is still influential in the linguistic expression of sexuality and violence among Nigerian university students.
Yomi Olusegun-Joseph
Published: 2 January 2020
Contemporary Music Review, Volume 39, pp 117-136; https://doi.org/10.1080/07494467.2020.1753477

Abstract:
The current trend in the Nigerian Hip Hop Nation (NHHN) to transgress established socio-cultural codes of ‘adult-run society’ in the Nigerian nation state has become a phenomenal postmodern signifier of urban youth difference. While this development has been acknowledged in a number of academic submissions, there has however been a dearth of scholarship to account for the temporal socio-economic/cultural imperatives that have shaped it, and how these motivations have impacted new youth identity formations, intra-NHHN power relations and the remapping of gender. Recognising Nigerian hip hop as predominantly framed around a male entertainment orientation and counterhegemonic cultural outlook, this paper argues that the present-day circulation of hip hop in Nigeria is a deconstructive, transcultural, and capitalist practice that presents an arena of youth self-(re)encounter, especially in the area of an overwhelming politics of masculinity, rethinking nation/belonging and the discursive (re)drawing of the female body. In this context, I suggest that the representation/performance of the female body in the NHHN, quite against popular notions of its vulnerability to misogyny, revolves around a site of ambivalence in which woman is both visible and discursively veiled, claiming agency within a dominantly hyper-masculinist youth (sub)culture as much as getting objectified in it. In this context, it is difficult to posit a case of ‘Nigerian feminist hip hop’ within a definitive space of black sisterhood and this requires critical contemplation.
Published: 14 January 2019
Journal of Multicultural Discourses, Volume 14, pp 373-389; https://doi.org/10.1080/17447143.2019.1645144

Abstract:
Popular songs are loaded with critical social, cultural and historical information and provide blueprints for future semiotic practices. I draw on notions of language as social practice and poststructuralist performative identities to show how language practices in popular music intersect with multicultural practices and meaning making in fluid African multilingual contexts. I illustrate how multilingual and multicultural practices bring into dialogue the traditional and the modern, the rural and the urban, and the interconnectedness in the translocal and transnational cultural worlds. I unravel the layered and multidimensional configurations of new forms of ethnicity and fluid social identities and related multiple affiliations. Beyond the dualisms and time-space-age fixed language practices projected in many studies on urban youth languages in Africa, I maintain that these languages are connected to adult and rural languages. Otherwise, studies on urban youth languages risk being uprooted from local socio-cultural systems of meaning making, hence being a-cultural and a-historical. I conclude that the rural languages and traditional music styles are not just reflected in urban languages and modern music styles; they provide the framework on which new ways of languaging and music styles find connections with the transnational/global world of music.
Published: 3 July 2017
Journal: Muziki
Muziki, Volume 14, pp 81-108; https://doi.org/10.1080/18125980.2017.1393319

Abstract:
The ubiquity of music renders it a telling reflection of the representations of the viewpoints and concerns—ethos and mores—of the milieu within which it is produced. Hip-hop as a global genre has been domesticated in every society in which it has found expression. Despite its noteworthy contributions and roles, hip-hop has gained notoriety and has been trailed by allegations of glorifying crime, materialism, violence, drugs and misogyny. In the present study, I examine the portrayal of women by male artistes in Nigerian hip-hop videos vis-à-vis the sociocultural nuances of the Nigerian environment. The lyrics and videos of three songs by three popular Nigerian artistes constitute the data. Relying on the “social-based” theoretical dictates of multimodal social semiotics and the performativity theory, attention is paid to both linguistic and non-linguistic modes in the data. The linguistic features examined reflected demeaning language used in portraying rape/sexual assault, sexual conquest and physical violence against women. On the other hand, the non-linguistic modes framed women as hedonistic, money-driven, capricious, and covetous. Women are also presented as sexual objects to satisfy the lust of the patriarchal and phallocentric society. The gaze and demeanour of the female personas were found suggestive of complicity, geared at maintaining the status-quo. These findings are significant particularly as there is ample evidence to suggest that music wields considerable influence in framing the behaviour of its audience.
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