Language, Migration and Globalization: French Hip-Hop Versus Arabic Diaspora Hip-Hop
The article discusses examples excerpted from several songs by French and Arabic hip-hop artists. The motivation behind the choice of these specific passages was to investigate hip-hop songs as a reflection of contemporary linguistic and cultural processes from a comparative and cross-cultural perspective. French and Arab diaspora artists frequently use the globalized (as well as glocalized) medium of hip-hop to recount immigrant and post-immigrant experiences of living in European societies. The analysis of the lyrics by MC Solaar, K-Mel (with Cheb Mami), Shadia Mansour and Lowkey illustrates different linguistic, cultural and identity-related issues. The French artists strongly criticize the discrimination directed against the post-immigrant segments of French society, although e.g. MC Solaar also expresses appreciation for republican and secular values associated with France. The Arab diaspora artists, on the other hand, regardless of the language they use, be it dialectal Arabic or English, aim at expressing the Arab, and not Western, political point of view, strengthening the Arab collective identity in diaspora as well as in the Arab world.
KeywordsArab Country Arab World Artistic Expression French Citizen Balfour Declaration
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