Synopses & Reviews
The Hiplife in Ghana explores one international site - Ghana, West Africa - where hip-hop music and culture have morphed over two decades into the hiplife genre of world music. It investigates hiplife music not merely as an imitation and adaptation of hip-hop, but as a reinvention of Ghana's century-old highlife popular music tradition. Author Halifu Osumare traces the process by which local hiplife artists have evolved a five-phased indigenization process that has facilitated a youth-driven transformation of Ghanaian society. She also reveals how Ghana's social shifts, facilitated by hiplife, have occurred within the country's 'corporate recolonization,' serving as another example of the neoliberal free market agenda as a new form of colonialism. Hiplife artists, we discover, are complicit with these global socio-economic forces even as they create counter-narratives that push aesthetic limits and challenge the neoliberal order.
"An eye-opening and paradigm-shifting look into cross cultural music creation within a diaspora." - Black Grooves
"This book is an excellent and painstaking review of the circumstances that led to the adoption of this musical genre and its subsequent transformations . . . I have no doubt that readers will find Osumare's theoretical observations, thoughts and critical comments on her field materials and those related to the operation of multinationals, etc. equally interesting and thought-provoking." - J. H. Kwabena Nketia, Emeritus Professor and founding director of School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana
"Halifu Osumare has written a rich account of hiplife music in Ghana through a prism of what she has termed the 'arc of mutual inspiration,' and beautifully provides the reader with a picture of the intricate connections between highlife, US hip-hop, late capitalism, youth agency, and local cultural practices. In this regard hiplife is not only a window into a local music style mobilized by youth in Ghana but a medium through which dominant ideologies and global structural forces are simultaneously complied with and resisted by those mostly affected by the challenges and opportunities of economic and political processes of the twenty-first century." - Mwenda Ntarangwi, author of East African Hip Hop: Youth Culture and Globalization
"This book is very in-depth filla! I really missed my Pops talking 'bout him and my life! History in print . . . again. But, this book is probably the best summary explaining this Ghana phenom called hiplife and the only biographical account of my relationship with family, country, and hip hop." - Reggie Rockstone, founder and "godfather" of hiplife music
About the Author
Halifu Osumare is an associate professor and director of African American and African Studies at the University of California, Davis. She is also the author of The Africanist Aesthetic in Global Hip-Hop.
Table of Contents
1. 'Every Hood Has It's Own Style'
2. 'Making an African out of the Computer': Globalization and Indigenization in Hiplife
3. 'Empowering the Young': Hiplife's Youth Agency
4. 'Society of the Spectacle': Hiplife and Corporate Recolonialization
5. 'The Game': Hiplife's Counter-Hegemonic Discourse