Keepin’ it Real: Arabic Rap and the Re-Creation of Hip Hop’s Founding Myth

Igor Johannsen


In the context of the so called “Arab Spring,” The role and function of “popular culture” generally, and hip hop specifically, have been scrutinized by a row of scholars and journalists. Connecting the respective cultural practices and products with the founding myth of hip hop as it materialized in the USA, Arabic rap is not only able to authenticate its products and performances, but it additionally sustains the relevance of social, political, and economic marginality for these respective cultural practices. This article explores a selection of decisive features of the founding myth of hip hop that are actualized through their representation in the Middle East and North Africa.


Hip Hop; Cultural Heritage; Popular Culture; Arab Spring; Cultural Practice

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