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