READ: An excerpt from Halifu Osumare’s “The Hiplife In Ghana”

A new book explores how Ghana's youth took hip-hop, made it their own, and what it means for the country's future.

In her recently released book The Hiplife In Ghana: West African Indigenization of Hip-Hop, Halifu Osumare (above, right), an associate professor and Director of the African American & African Studies Program at the University of California, Davis, explores what she calls “the arc of mutual inspiration”.   That is, a continuous loop of music and dance influences that flow from Africa to its diaspora and then back again.  The latest example–if you count Kenya benga music, juju and Afrobeat in Nigeria, bongo flava in Tanzania, kwaito in South Africa and Congolese soukous–is Ghana’s hiplife, a distinctive mix of highlife hip-hop along with reggae and dancehall.

Osumare’s book is the culmination of over three decades of immersion in the traditions and popular culture of Ghana. She explores how Ghana’s youth have taken the insurgent energy of hip-hop and have been inspired to find their voice beyond music and, in a very traditional society, join the larger socio-political conversations that are taking place.

Dr. Osumare will start a book tour next month.  Dates are as follows:

October 18:  Accra, Ghana
10 am
Institute for African Studies
University of Ghana, Legon
Featuring: Halifu Osumare; Professor Emeritus Kwabena Nketia; Obour (Bice Osei Kufuor) President, Ghana Musicians Union; and DJ Black

October 27:  Edinburgh Scotland
9:30 am-5:30 pm
Africa in Motion Symposium
University of Edinburgh

October 28: London, England
Africana Centre | Business of Culture
Covent Garden

November 1:  Brooklyn, NY
6 pm
Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA)

November 2:  New York, NY
6 pm
NYU
Institute of African American Affairs

November 5:  New York, New NY
6 pm
Schomburg Center for research in Black Culture

December 1:  Philadelphia, PA
4:30 pm
African Studies Association
Hip-Life, Hip-Hop and Popular Music in West Africa

Check out the introduction to the book here:

Introduction to "The Hiplife in Ghana: West African Indigenization of Hip-Hop"

 Additional link:

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Rob Fields is the founder and publisher of Bold As Love Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @robfields.

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