Event Title

Negotiating the Musical “Active”: Political and Creative Agency in Hip Hop in Dakar, Oberlin, and Beyond

Presenter Information

Dylan McDonnell, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, A142

Start Date

4-24-2015 1:30 PM

End Date

4-24-2015 2:30 PM

Abstract

Contemporary musicians and journalists have heavily debated the responsibilities of hip-hop performers to respond creatively to socio-political crises, namely during the presidential elections in Senegal and the Black Lives Matter movements in the U.S. In this talk, I address how hip-hop participants in Dakar, Senegal, and Oberlin negotiate expectations to publicly engage in activism. Drawing on interviews with hip-hop actors from both sites, as well as analyses of “activist” rap recordings, I argue that while hip-hop actors in Dakar and Oberlin may contest different networks of oppression, many engage expressive techniques that suggest similar modes of resistance.

Notes

Session 1, Panel 6 - Studies in Engagement, Resistance, and Agency
Moderator: Elizabeth Hamilton, Associate Professor of German Language and Literatures

Major

Musical Studies

Advisor(s)

Jennifer Fraser, Anthropology; Ethnomusicology

Project Mentor(s)

Jennifer Fraser, Anthropology; Ethnomusicology

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Apr 24th, 1:30 PM Apr 24th, 2:30 PM

Negotiating the Musical “Active”: Political and Creative Agency in Hip Hop in Dakar, Oberlin, and Beyond

Science Center, A142

Contemporary musicians and journalists have heavily debated the responsibilities of hip-hop performers to respond creatively to socio-political crises, namely during the presidential elections in Senegal and the Black Lives Matter movements in the U.S. In this talk, I address how hip-hop participants in Dakar, Senegal, and Oberlin negotiate expectations to publicly engage in activism. Drawing on interviews with hip-hop actors from both sites, as well as analyses of “activist” rap recordings, I argue that while hip-hop actors in Dakar and Oberlin may contest different networks of oppression, many engage expressive techniques that suggest similar modes of resistance.