Straight Outta Cape Town: The Instantiation and Negotiation of Identity in Cape Town-Based Hiphop.
Abstract: My thesis will illustrate how the work of Cape Town-based hiphop
group Brasse Vannie Kaap (translated to "Brothers of the Cape") challenged the fixity of
identity and social placement intended by apartheid ideology. BVK as they came to be known,
were a collective of hiphop performers active in the South African musical scene primarily
between 1996 and 2007. Under the apartheid system ... read moreof racial taxonomy the group's core
members would have been considered "non-White" and more specifically, "Coloured." This
classification placed them at the midpoint of the tripartite racial scheme in South Africa.
Socially and politically, Coloureds were regarded as "less than White, but more than
Black." A lyrical and contextual analysis of selected tracks from the 2007 album Ysterbek
("Metal-mouth"), will demonstrate the extent to which BVK traversed these imposed
boundaries. I argue that BVK, through their music, achieved three objectives: 1) they
dissolved conceptions of essential "Whiteness" by their specific choice of vernacular
language, 2) they promoted Coloured cultural practices in their lyrics, thereby
legitimating a marginalized grouping, and 3) they destabilized notions of fundamental
"Blackness" through political rhetoric. BVK embraced the resistive and instantiating
ideologies of hiphop, employing the discursive strategies of this musical genre to narrate
their own personal histories.
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of Music.
Advisor: David Locke.
Committee: David Locke, Jeffrey Summit, and Stephan Pennington.
Keywords: Music, Ethnic Studies, and African Studies.read less
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