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Global und afrikanisch: Annäherungen an HipHop-Performer im Township Philippi in Kapstadt

Heike Becker, Nceba Dastile

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Global and african: Exploring Hip-Hop Artists in Philippi Township, Cape Town.

In this article we explore a set of issues related to the contemporary hip-hop culture in Cape Town. Firstly, we demonstrate how hip-hop as a form of popular culture and the construction of identity are linked to the specifics of ‘space and place’. We discuss different forms that the performance of hip-hop takes in different spaces in greater Cape Town. The discussion of space and the politics of culture are linked to two interrelated aspects that are particularly significant for the discussion of cultural flows and identities. In contrast to the common perception that hip-hop in Cape Town was primarily of interest among ‘coloured’ youth, our presentation focuses on young performers living in an ‘African’ township. We pay special attention to the use of language and the performance of hip-hop lyrics in African languages. Our discussion explores how the use of hybridised African languages lends support to the endeavours by young South Africans to create a sense of their selves after the end of apartheid. In concluding our discussion of spaces, people and languages, we think about how the observations of hip-hop in Cape Town relate to contemporary South African ideas about culture in the interstices of the global, the national and the local.