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“That was my truest voice”: Rap Identities Between Authenticity and Fame

  • Ana SobralEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter looks at negotiations of identity in rap music, using the example of Somali-Canadian rapper K’naan. Rap is an established performative practice based on set formulas, characters, plots and frames. Additionally, and most importantly, rap relies on a subtle combination of words and images which are propagated via music videos, live performances, Internet platforms and so on. How did K’naan employ different media and modalities to construct his apparently authentic rapper persona? The chapter looks at a selection of (multimedial) performances that reflect K’naan’s transition from underground Somali rapper-poet to commercial Somali-American pop star.

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Music Videos

  1. K’naan. 2007. Introducing. YouTube, September 5. Accessed August 14, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG-hr1o8ZbQ.
  2. ———. 2009. Soobax. YouTube, January 12. Accessed August 15, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mVY30buW4Q.
  3. ———. Wavin’ Flag (Celebration Mix). Universal Music. Accessed August 14, 2017. http://www.universal-music.de/knaan/videos/detail/video:226379/wavin-flag-celebration-mix.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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