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Contesting Cultural Imperialism: Hybridisation and Re-enactment of Indigenous Cultural Values in Nigerian Hip-Hop Music
Muziki  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-07-19, DOI: 10.1080/18125980.2021.1945946


Hybridisation, that is, the blending of different cultural elements to create a new cultural form and identity, has become a significant linguistic feature of hip-hop music in Nigeria. Existing studies have focused largely on the negative roles of hip-hop music describing it as a tool for cultural imperialism and fostering deviant behaviour among youths. However, sparse scholarly attention has been paid to the cultural significance of hybridisation in Nigerian hip-hop music for promoting indigenous cultural values, especially among the youths in such a culturally complex country. This article reports on a study that was designed to examine hybridisation in Nigerian hip-hop music with a specific focus on the Yoruba language which is prominently used in the genre. This was done to establish how the linguistic process has challenged the notion of cultural hegemony in a way capable of changing youths’ perception of their indigenous cultural values. Using a mixed-methods approach, the researchers administered 255 copies of a 17-item questionnaire to students at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. They also conducted five in-depth interviews with purposively selected hip-hop artistes and music producers in Ibadan, while they analysed the contents of 40 randomly selected Nigerian hip-hop music videos produced between 2010 and 2015. The findings of the study revealed a high level of hybridisation manifested as the blending of Yoruba cultural content into Nigerian hip-hop music. The study also established that hybridised hip-hop music, as a form of communication, exerts a positive influence on youths’ perception of indigenous culture and values.