Hip-Hop Hybridity for a Glocalized World: African and Muslim Diasporic Discourses in French Rap Music

By David Drissel.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

When it comes to hip-hop, France is particularly noteworthy since it has the second largest market for rap music production and consumption in the world, following the U.S. This paper proposes that the discourse of French rap music both reflects and influences the construction of hybridized black-inflected identities, particularly among minority youth living in diaspora; i.e., physically separated and widely dispersed from their ancestral homelands on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. In this regard, diasporic French hip-hoppers are involved in a complex process of reconfiguring and synthesizing relevant idioms and vernaculars found not only in global hip-hop and their “native” culture, but also in their “host” country of France. Drawing on framing theory, this paper investigates both French-African and French-Muslim frames and related anti-racist perspectives articulated in French rap music, which have been socially and cognitively organized into diasporic discourses. Research questions addressed include the following: How have global flows of people, ideas, and artifacts, impacted hip-hop’s origins and metamorphosis in France? In what ways have the African and Muslim diasporas influenced French hip-hop? What social and demographic factors have encouraged diasporic youth to adopt black-inflected identities tied to hip-hop? This paper analyzes a wide variety of sources, including the lyrical content of selected rap songs recorded by North and West African Muslims, living in France.

Keywords: Hip-Hop, Rap Music, African Diaspora, New African Diaspora, Muslim Diaspora, Diasporic Youth, Youth Subcultures, Globalization, Glocalization, Banlieues, Hybridization, African Americans, French North Africans, Cool Islam, Blackness, Franco-Maghrebi, Reconfiguration, Rai

Global Studies Journal, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.121-144. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.290MB).

Prof. David Drissel

Professor, Department of Social Sciences, Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge, IA, USA

David Drissel is a professor of social sciences at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa. His undergraduate work included a double major in political science and sociology. His graduate studies focused on comparative politics, international relations, social change and development, and social movements. Research interests include transnational social movements and computer-mediated communication, nations/states undergoing political/economic transition, youth subcultures and collective identities, the global politics of Internet governance, juvenile delinquency and subterranean values, diasporic youth and social networking, and the role of interactive media and popular culture in mobilizing social networks. Professor Drissel is a two-time Fulbright Scholar who has studied extensively in China and the Czech/Slovak Republics, among many other countries. A frequent speaker and conference participant, he has had several papers published in various academic journals and compilations. He is an alumnus of the Oxford (University) Roundtable in Great Britain, where he presented a paper on Internet governance, which was later published in the Cambridge Review of International Affairs.

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