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From rage to riches: swag and capital in the Tanzanian hip hop industry

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 March 2021

Abstract

This article traces how Tanzanian Bongo Flava hip hop has shifted from a politically conscious genre at the dawn of democratization and liberalization to its contemporary articulations, more commonly aligned with glamorous, geographically abstracted Western pop sensibilities. It argues that ‘swag’, as an intimately embodied and musically performed charisma, has served as a connective thread across political and economic transformations because of its capacity to generate phantasmatic deferrals to common experiences of dispossession. These fetishistic qualities mediate the attachments of artists and consumers within the splintering musical genre, holding open space to reach for a diversity of desired futures.

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Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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