Vol. XVII, Issue 3 (Summer 2010):

Fela! The Broadway Musical; Rap and Africa


BOARD:

Gloria Emeagwali
Chief Editor
emeagwali@ccsu.edu

Walton Brown-Foster
Copy Editor
brownw@ccsu.edu

Haines Brown
Adviser
brownh@hartford-hwp.com

REGIONAL EDITORS:

Olayemi Akinwumi
(Nigeria)

Zenebworke Bissrat
(Ethiopia)

Paulus Gerdes
(Mozambique)

Alfred Zack-Williams
(Sierra Leone)

TECHNICAL ADVISOR:

Jennifer Nicoletti
Academic Technology, CCSU
caputojen@ccsu.edu

For more information concerning AfricaUpdate
Contact:
Prof. Gloria Emeagwali
CCSU History Dept.
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06050
Tel: 860-832-2815
emeagwali@ccsu.edu

 





 

Table of contents

 

Editorial

       Fela Ransome Kuti was enigmatic and complex -  a creative genius who became an iconoclast, a revolutionary, a resistor and  an ebullient, indignant,  anti-establishment radical -  a man larger than life.  The Broadway musical  Fela! encapsulates color, beauty, symbolism, exuberance, rhythm and spiritualism. We see the great Orisas and spiritual entities of Yoruba culture in their resplendent  paraphernalia;  and relish the  sophisticated, energetic, dynamic  dance. But this is Africa in all its pain and glory, its tribulations and triumphs. One also weeps over the death of  Nigeria's distinguished  female activist, the great Funmilayo Ransome Kuti,  the mother of  Fela Ransome Kuti. The musical deals with grand themes, including the critique of the Nigerian military; the agonizing process of transformation of  Fela,  from a naive  musician to an informed pan - Africanist,  pained nationalist, and tortured musical genius; and  the courage and daring of Mrs Ransome Kuti.

               Fela! also deals with  human rights violations, and reflects African resilience through song and dance. It includes great  protest music and  immortalizes  one of the most daring songs of protest of the 20th century against trigger-happy military  adventurism. 'Zombie' is a critique of the Nigerian military but it has global resonance and meaning for military encampments and militaristic adventurers everywhere.

          Dr. Ellease  Ebele  Oseye, Professor of English  at  Pace University,  in her article ‘Fela revisited, Breaking it down,’ in this issue of Africa Update, offers an incisive and illuminating critique of Fela!  with a major focus on the symbolic use of number and color in this masterpiece. Professor Oseye uncovers the complex layers of physics, philosophy and art, the underlying symbolism,  and the complex ‘layers of brilliance’ expressed in the choreography and the musical narrative. She identifies some of the core tenets of  Orisha theology and their significance to Fela! the musical,  and provides an indispensable guide for both the layman and the initiated. We thank her for her illuminating contribution.

   The issue concludes with  insightful reflections on rap and Senegal by Lavonda Staples, a doctoral  student at Howard University.

Dr. Gloria Emeagwali

Chief  Editor,  Africa Update

Return to Table of Contents

 

‘Fela! Revisited Breaking it Down’

Professor Ellease Ebele N. Oseye,
Pace University, New York

 

Who is Obalogun? 
Who are the monsters who kill with their terrible cries? What happens when the Cat wakes up?
I thought that I had entered a dream during my first viewing of Fela! at the Eugene O'Neill Theater, early in December 2009. I was so immersed in a collision of colors and the orchestrated pandemonium that I could barely breathe. Early in Act One, I had to pull away from the cosmic energies so furiously spinning to ask, "What mind could harmonize such breathtaking wonder?" 

To my far right, in a box seat, sat Director and Choreographer, Bill T. Jones. He was the visible presence of years of incredibly hard work, research, collaboration, patience, experience and sheer talent. At my most recent viewing, Saturday 22 May 2010, ticket holders  started fancy stepping in the lobby and we kept shaking until we reached our seats, enjoying the live music which precedes the opening of each show: the Afrobeat created by musician and activist, the internationally celebrated, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The title role is being played by Sahr Nguajah and  Kevin Mambo, alternately.

How to describe  Fela! This musical  is timeless, almost uncanny as we see the horrific results of oil gushing in the Gulf of Mexico, destroying livelihoods and lives. Fela is life-affirming educational entertainment. it gives us an indispensable teaching tool.

It is true recreation (re-creation): an experience which connects us to self-knowledge, an experience which continuously makes us new. It is art born of a magnificent imagination which comprehends science and art. Compassion flows in every song, in every dance. It is art which allows the audience to dream. It is art layered with beauty and terror. It is light in its complete spectrum.  It speaks truth effectively, in a word or in dance. It speaks truth with courage regarding religion, enslavement and economic exploitation. It connects us to history and African culture, especially the Yoruba culture of Nigeria.

It is the coming together of Africans born on the continent and Africans born in America. In Act One of two acts, Fela! tells many stories  within the main story of the protagonist's struggles to live in a corrupt Nigeria following independence from the British. While Fela's mother, Funmilayo, had already been murdered by the state  as the musical opens, she comes to life through dream, and through memory. A cat, ornately sculptured, is placed near her portrait. There could be trouble when the Cat wakes up.

 Act One begins as the narratives of all world heroes begin, with a departure. Fela would leave Nigeria and begin a physical journey to London, New York, California, Berlin, Madrid and other international localities. But the greater dangers occur in Act Two as Fela struggles to make the ascent, to reach the higher realm of the ancestors so that he can communicate with his mother. Here he risks mind and body in order to save himself and community. The story will come full circle when Fela returns home.

The circle is one of several powerful symbols which transports the audience. It's the movement of the clock.  It's in the nine wives who encircle Fela. Nine lights spiral on the floor all going counter clockwise, following the movement of planets and Sun in our own solar system -  when viewed above the Sun. In another scene, there are fifteen circles to set another less pleasant mood.

You can expect the circles to reverse direction and to increase the speed of rotation as things take a turn for the worse. And they do. All circles completely disappear from the stage when Fela is tortured.  There is a grate of square lights on the floor of the darkened stage.
The general public, aspiring writers and other artists will benefit greatly from a closer look at symbols and techniques at work in this musical. The general public needs to protect itself from literature which deforms; our young can be transformed by literature which heals.

How does Fela! generate such life supporting energies? Consider the basics: use of light and color, water and fire, iron, the cat and the rat, the ladder, and  the vehicles which facilitate the opening movement of both acts. In addition to symbols, there is  knowledge of physics expressed in the choreography and in the narrative of Obalogun, the great warrior. Dialogue between Fela and the audience, and other devices, create the underlying serenity which permeates the musical.

The whole band unobtrusively rolling across the stage accompanies Funmilayo's movement during a dream. A lyrical gliding of the ladder accompanies Sandra Isadore, played by Saycon Sengbloh, as she descends, singing a love song to Fela. These and other moments deepen introspection and balance high pitched emotion. The communication is brought full circle.  It's no wonder that the air literally crackles with electricity as people emerge from the theater.        

One could simply follow the light and color and experience pure exhilaration.  

In Fela! light is really brought to light. In contrast with the many scenes bathed in a lavish flow of colors, and pounding rhythmic music,  there are scenes in  black and gray, all color drained from the stage during times of distress. Together with the absence of color there is silence. At one point there are 18 long seconds of pure black. That's taking a chance.  And it works. (It's allowing the battery to fully discharge so that it can fully recharge. ) In contrast, when Funmilayo, played by Lillias White, hits those bone chilling  notes in her song of courage, she breaks the white full spectrum light into its component colors. And as her voice rises, the color gradually returns to the stage. In each act, the colors which Fela wears carry particular  importance: blue in Act One, pink and white in Act Two.  There was no way that he could make an ascent to a higher realm without being dressed in white.

The song which Funmilayo sings is of Yemaya, mother of the Gods who saw her son, Obalogun, the great warrior, fighting the demons who kill with their cries. The warrior stuffed his ears with dirt when threatened by the monsters, lured them into his arms  then burst into flames, killing the demons and cleansing the earth.   But Yemaya  saw her son on fire and wept  tears which changed to torrential rains and put out the flames which could have destroyed  her son.

Ogun, whose colors are green and black, is the Orisha of iron, hunting and war. In the cosmos, iron behaves in ways identical to the behavior of this Orisha; hours after a star forms  iron, it will collapse and supernova.  In its exploding death the star will give birth to all the other elements in the periodic table in rapid succession. The ingredients needed for life on Earth come through the death of the star. Of course, there must be the cooling off. There must be  water in order for life to exist. Ogun is associated with creation and formation, as blacksmith, and associated with communal support as hunter, providing nutrition.

Through iron, we have our connections to Obalogun; the core of our Earth is made of iron. Iron enables our red blood cells to carry oxygen, without which we would have no life.

Science works closely with this art. The fantastic dance reflects a working knowledge of physics.  One must understand the laws of gravity before tossing  dancers horizontally, and elevating dancers overhead. Knowledge of culture is also indispensable in the creation of fine literature.  Fela, whose name means "he who shines with greatness" is from Abeokuta, a village known for its great warriors.  Anikulapo, he reminds us, means "I carry death in my pouch. No mortal can kill me."

We'll all be singing, "Water no get enemy" for quite some time.  We are told that even if water kills your child, you will still have to use it. There is rich philosophical content in this work. Water is the sacred vehicle that will carry us to a higher realm in Act Two.  In Act One the opening vehicle  was the bus which carried the embattled Fela people to jail. In the serenity of the water dance, which is a balance to the frenetic dance of the Orishas to follow, the dancers move as though peacefully rowing boats.  Sometimes the bodies of the dancers become the water itself. As the musical opens, we see large drops of water cross the portrait of Funmilayo which turns and comes to life each time Fela speaks of leaving Nigeria. The water is both tears and rain. As already cited, it is water which will save the warrior's life.

In this musical, there are no curtains.  And yet, during one of the most harrowing scenes in Act II there are two "curtains" of the thinnest fabric which allow us to see Fela as he journeys and prepares to enter his mother's realm. It's no easy trip. Here, the drum, the impulse of life, and the Egungun of the spirit world, entrap Fela,  each approaching from opposite ends of the passage, the drums rapidly beating and the spirit as rapidly dancing with the struggling Fela running from one to the other, trying to break free. The humor of the intent and heavily focused drummer increases the intensity of the ordeal.

It is with some measure of relief that we watch the thin curtains rise, allowing Fela to enter a larger space which is not free from great perils.

So much drama unfolds in Part One, that the audience, already fulfilled,  would be hard pressed to believe that Act Two could offer more.  It does. After intermission, Fela's direct address to the audience,"So you decided to come back?" makes us laugh.  And then we enjoy new discoveries.  We see the maternal energies continued in the African American lover, Sandra, whom we first saw wearing red and black (colors of Eshu, guardian of the crossroads), then later in Act Two,  wearing blue, colors of Yemaya, associated with Fela's mother.

Humor, sign of higher intelligence, provides the underlying energy for eighty percent of the musical even in some of the most somber moments. Before his torture (and the audience is visibly distressed), Fela comes out wearing the coat and cap of a military officer, and for the moment, the incongruity makes the audience laugh. But not for long. This does not  detract from the brutal beatings which hospitalized Fela for seventeen days.  Everyone needs to hear the lament pouring from the body of the tortured Fela (played by another actor, Ismael Kouyate). The theater falls quiet under the weight of this terrible beauty.  The same voice that earlier sang James Brown's "I got the feeling" with an irrepressible energy, and  left the audience in rollicking laughter, now chants in long melodious anguish through unbearable pain.   This is one of many highly imagined  moments where truth is not compromised by humor, this humor which is the twin to truth. This is a critical teaching moment demonstrating how to effectively dramatize  violence without abusing both narrator and audience.

The author trusted us to recognize the intersection of beauty and terror in this moment and in many others throughout Fela.As for numbers? When Fela first enters the stage he is escorted by four dancers. The African American lover, Sandra Isadore, descends the ladder accompanied by four attendants. When Fela is to climb the ladder,this physical effort is accompanied by four members of the ensemble pointing up. We find a similar attention to the number four, representing totality, the cardinal points, and representing the superlative in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. The nine wives of Fela on stage represent well the twenty-seven (two plus seven equals nine) wives that he married in real life.  Numbers are used in a most ominous way especially the day Funmilayo died.  The time was given in silence, with only a single chime sounding; 5:45 she was dragged up the stairs.  5:47 she was thrown from the window. Earlier, in Act One, the "clock game" generated life.  Cultural understanding of numbers provides useful insights in literary interpretation.

This musical celebrating the life of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, delivers a vision which connects history and the contemporary moment. The more I see this fine work of art, the more I uncover layers of brilliance. 

Summer 2009, in Nigeria, I overheard a customs agent ask a young Russian, "Why have you come to Nigeria?"
The young man's firm answer, "Off shore-drilling," burned in my ears. It sounded like, "To violate your mother." At the time I did not know that only a few months, the violation of off-shore drilling would reach American soil.
Lines from Fela!:
"Like rat we steal
Make a hole     
Oil flow"


"Ax Falls on British Petroleum," an old Nigerian headline, almost feels uncanny,  as the past looks into the present day.

In this Broadway production, the audience is physically surrounded by history. Every wall of the theater is filled with sculptures, portraits, and cinematic images of actual newspaper headlines: Majority Live in Poverty; Soldiers Advised to Exercise Restraint with Public, Stern Warnings to Students; Army Retakes University, 35 Students Dead. There are images of Angela Davis, Malcolm and Martin, including The Dead Lecturer by Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka). The new Black Studies programs of the 1960's and The Black Arts Movement are brought to life in this inspiring narrative.

Even without a story, Fela! would be worth its weight in gold. 

The innovative, fast shaking dance, the cosmic colors, and the songs all speak a universal language. The musicians alone would make the production more than phenomenal.  But the education delivered with the entertainment makes this production, Fela! priceless. 
 
"Speaking Truth To Empower."

Return to Table of Contents

Reflections on Rap and Senegal

La Vonda R. Staples
Howard University

     American rap artists have gained new audiences through the advent of media campaigns in Sub-Saharan African countries, increased immigration, and internet access.  As Africa’s population nears one billion persons, of which the majority are youth, it becomes an attractive target for market-creation as well as a possible source of artists.    In this paper I will attempt to give a brief history of American hiphop as well as  briefly compare and contrast African, specifically Senegalese, and African American artistes. 

                   West African countries have two, new invisible colonizers, a musical art form completely indigenous to America, the under current of  hiphop,  colloquially known as gangsta rap, and the insatiable force of American media.  On the surface, it could be seen as a mere transmission of culture but the historical implications and deeper cultural, political, and social trends portend a much more auspicious offspring.  American gangsta rap may be the impetus and the vehicle for the next African revolution.  It may also be the next attempt at binding Black youth worldwide as the first 21st century Pan-African collaboration.

             To some extent, all Senegalese recorded music may not  be readily available in the United States, and, for that matter, all available types of rap music from the United States may  not   be readily available in Senegal.  The trickle of available American rap music that finds a new home in Africa is not representative of the various forms of rap music which are inclusive of a vast array or approaches, themes and styles:  From the frivolous (DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince/Will Smith) to musical (Black-Eyed Peas), from poetic (Common) to militant (KRS-ONE), from boastful (Jay-Z) to introspection,  bordering on becoming self-absorbed (Kanye West), and finally “gangsta” (gangster) rap, the form which garners the most legislative and parental attention.  This form depends heavily on violence (Ice-T, Ice Cube, etc.) as its central and sometimes only theme.  Further, the categories of violent American rap music also have a range in types of violence. 

American hiphop/rap forms also have geographical subdivisions.  For example, New Orleans rappers typically speak of neighborhood violence and retaliation in their wards and parishes.  Atlanta rappers have similar themes of violence but differ from New Orleans rappers in terms of location, lyrical style .New Orleans vocal accents are redolent with remnants of  a French and Haitian linguistic presence.  Although New Orleans is  culturally rich, due to the African presence as well as an additional infusion of Kongo culture during the Haitian Revolution, it has a decidedly rural feel with very little attempts towards sophistication.  New Orleans is tragically mystic and beautiful.  By contrast, Atlanta’s musical offerings are decidedly urban with a dedicated adherence to elements common in the American south such as Blues or “roots” music.  Atlanta and New Orleans comprise the majority of what is commonly referred to as the “Dirty South.” 

The most widely recognized geographical subdivision,  and the undisputed point of genesis of rap is, without dispute, New York City.  There are arguments as to the exact borough, but the most intellectual argument as to front-runners for geographical placement of this artistic phenomenon are Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens.  The first rappers, however, were poets and performance artists; many were college students, professors, teachers, members of East Coast Black intelligentsia.  Their performances were mainly concerned with socio-economic conditions of Black and Latin American minorities.  In regards to Latin Americans, the main contributors to this new genre were Puerto Ricans and no other Latin spoken word artist had greater impact than Miguel Pinero (December 19, 1946 to June 18, 1988).  Pinero was a multi-talented artist, nominated for theater as well as television awards. 

African American artist Gil Scott- Heron epitomized the rapper/poet sobriquet.  His most famous poems: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” “White Man Got a God Complex,” and “Whitey’s On the Moon.”  Scott –Heron  is separate from the contemporary hiphop culture for a number of reasons.  He is not the product of a ghetto environment, although he did live in the Jim Crow south.  He attended Lincoln University and received a Master of Arts in creative writing from John Hopkins University.  Unlike many, if not most present-day rap artists, Scot t -Heron was also an accomplished musician and his first literary success was not in the poetry and spoken word genre but as a novelist. The Vulture, his first novel, was first published in 1970. 

Afrika Bambaataa, also known as ‘Bam, was the first rapper to create a distinct, other self. His real name is Kevin Donovan. He is a direct descendant of the Black Power Movement.  His topics were mainly socio-economic conditions of African Americans, lack of political regard for Blacks by White power structure, and intra-racial violence, the so-called Black on Black crime, but they were addressed from a grassroots, urban point of view.  In contrast, Gil Scott-Heron was the son of Jamaican immigrants and had an additional cultural schema in which to draw his theories and opinions.  Although he spent his adolescence in rural Tennessee, he began his life in New York as a teen-ager.  Bambaataa, the son of West Indian immigrants, was a product of New York public schools in the Bronx.  His work is the voice of the unschooled but far from ignorant, unadulterated, ghetto environment.  Bambaataa, after a visit to Africa, changed his given name and began the process of creating a socially responsible group called the Zulu Nation.  From this larger group came a stage show that consisted of break-dancers and rappers.  Bam lead the Zulu Nation and SoulSonic Force through the 1980’s and early 1990’s until rap became a mainstream concoction and product calculated in units rather than songs.  In 1990, Bam was selected by Life magazine as one of “The Twenty Most Influential Americans” for his work against apartheid.  Of all the things there are to regard with wonder or even mild curiosity, there is a certain fascination (for me) with the way  American culture acts on its own, autonomously and without physical presence, in the rest of the world.  When I was pursuing a graduate degree in contemporary European history, I received an intense education in the ways in which a physical presence could manifest positive or negative changes in societies, cultures, people, and traditions.  A physical presence can be a military occupation or a human-rights intervention and it is also exhibited in a wave of missionaries, musicians, or merchants.  The definition of a non-physical or intangible presence must always be made, as a rule, post fact; you do not know when it arrived but you know that it has arrived.  This new form is intangible and has been made possible via technological advancements.

One of the resultant indications of Africa’s consumption of American media is the growth of hiphop music and culture in countries such as Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana.  This process has taken place without an even exchange of products or performers from Africa to America. As with most other instances there appears to be a single direction of the route. 

What has this to do with rappers in Senegal?  Rappers in Senegal may not, in their work, give homage to the earliest roots of rap. However, they do seem to convey the politicized revolutionary spirit of the earliest American rap artists.  The fact that they display stylistic elements, which, on prima facie examination, may lead a non-African consumer to assumptions of gangsta rap imitation, does not mar their work.  Using hand gestures known as ‘gang signs’, the word “nigger”, and wearing low-slung pants may perhaps only be evidence of an adherence and observation of a transnational youth “same-ing.”  Because their national history includes a dialogue on colonialism and economic oppression as opposed to the African American dialogue on slavery and race, they easily use words, names, and slang which, to an American, are forms of racial pejoratives.  Sky Coon and DJ Darky might be horrified to know that their “street names” are actually very serious racial slurs.  It is not an activity of co-option, rather, the words are used as their meanings are seen within African cultures.  In simple language, African hiphop artists sometimes re-purpose American words,  and  usage of these names is not a reference to anything African American or American.  It is simply a form of protest against Western, that is, French, colonial and/or European Union international subjugation. 

It is not immediately apparent if the names are a form of protest or if they are simply chosen for impact rather than meaning. Most Senegalese rappers choose English in American form, even when they are not fluent speakers of American English.    At the least, a Senegalese rapper will add on the very American “MC (emcee)” or “DJ (disc jockey).”  Where titles or names are concerned, a plausible contextual cross can be made by contrasting a hypothetical African American man who takes the singular “Abdul” as a new Arabic name.  Without knowledge of the nuances of Arabic he cannot possibly know that this name literally means “servant” and is a variation of the Arabic word abd (slave) and is also perceived as pejorative without the addition of a second name which would tell to whom he is a servant i.e. Abdullah, meaning servant of God.  However, for our imaginary individual who becomes “Abdul” the name is taken not for its literal meaning but as an act of self-determination and perhaps defiance to a dominant religion and language.  In the final analysis, Senegalese rappers’ use of hiphop/spoken word music is not a component of an impersonal international corporation, with corporation- approved lyrics, with artistes firmly ensconced in the exercise and under the yoke of obtaining “bling.” It is just a single route of many routes chosen by African artists to express dissatisfaction with cultural norms, oppression via French neo- colonization, and the daily struggle for political voice and economic survival. 

In listening to hours of Senegalese rappers, the one recognizable English word is “niggah.”  Senegalese rappers employ a mélange of languages and the most reliable consistency is Wolof, French, and American English.  It is nearly impossible to decipher the double entendre of their French without knowing the cultural context of its usage. 

In American hip hop, the poets and socially conscious rappers rarely garner the attention paid to gangsta rappers.  If one is to become a gangsta rapper one must sell drugs, get shot, and go to jail.  It is an absolute requirement.  This industry gives the world the impression that all African American men are guests of some penal institution.  Factually, there are 20 million African American males in this country and of that number 800,000 are incarcerated and an additional quarter of a million are on probation or parole.  Those numbers are dismal but they do not represent an entire group.  Gangsta rap gives the non-American listener, and the American listeners as well, that criminality is a necessary rite of passage.  In the confines of America this often leads to adolescents committing crimes or acting out.  In Muslim Senegal, the musical mantras of African American rappers have the potential of inciting much more than street conflicts. 

 

Bibliography

 

Asante, Jr., M. K. (2008).  It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop; The Rise of the Post-Hip-Hop Generation.  New York:  St. Martin’s Press.

Bell, Derrick (1992).  Faces at the Bottom of the Well; The Permanence of Racism.  New York:  BasicBooks.

Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo (2003).  Racism Without Racists; Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States.  Lanham, Maryland:  Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Chan, Stephen (2007).  Grasping Africa; A Tale of Tragedy and Achievement.  London:  I. B. Tauris.

 

Desai, Guarav.  Subject to Colonialism; African Self-Fashioning and the Colonial Library.  London:  Duke University Press, 2001.

Durand, Alain-Philippe (2002).  Black, Blanc, Beur; Rap Music and Hip-Hop Culture in the Francophone World.  Lanham, Maryland:  The Scarecrow Press, Inc.

   French, Howard W. (2004).  A Continent for the Taking; The Tragedy and Hope of Africa.      New York: 

    Alfred A. Knopf.

  George, Nelson [1998 (1999)].  Hiphop America.  New York:  Penguin Books.

hooks, bell (1994).  Outlaw Culture; Resisting Representations.  New York:  Routledge.

Kochman, Thomas (1983).  Black and White; Styles in Conflict.  Chicago, Illinois:  University of Chicago Press.

McPhail, Thomas L.  Electronic Colonialism; The Future of International Broadcasting and Communication.  Beverly Hills, CA:  Sage Publications, 1981.

Mills, Nicolaus and Kira Brunner (editors).  The New Killing Fields; Massacre and the Politics of Intervention.  New York:  Basic Books, 2002.

Mkandawire, Thandika (editor).  African Intellectuals; Rethinking Politics, Language, Gender and Development.  London:  Zed Books, 2005.

Osumare, Halifu (2007).  The Africanist Aesthetic in Global Hip-Hop; Power Moves.  New York:  Palgrave MacMillan.

Rose, Tricia (1994).  Black Noise; Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America.  Middletown, Connecticut:  Wesleyan University Press.

Watkins, S. Craig (2005).  Hip Hop Matters; Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement.  Boston, Massachusetts:  Beacon Press.