Dimensions of Dissatisfaction and Dissent in Contemporary German Rap: Social Marginalization, Politics, and Identity Formation

  • Leonie Wiemeyer
  • Steffen Schaub


Rap music has a long history as a site for socio-political awareness and commentary. In recent years, socially critical attitudes have permeated German mainstream rap. This chapter explores expressions of dissatisfaction and dissent in a corpus of contemporary, commercially successful German rap lyrics. The analysis shows that German rappers employ explicit and implicit ways of expression, for example, direct reference, irony, and imitation, to voice their objection to specific social issues and behaviors. By positioning themselves as critics of political and socio-economic issues, German rappers project their sociocultural identity and index their belonging to a particular social stratum.


German rap Hip-hop language Corpus linguistics Discourse analysis Linguistic strategies Social criticism Social class Identity 



We would like to thank the two editors, an anonymous reviewer and Robert Niemann for their helpful comments on individual aspects of an earlier version of this chapter. Any remaining errors are our own.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonie Wiemeyer
    • 1
  • Steffen Schaub
    • 2
  1. 1.University of BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.University of MuensterMuensterGermany

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