Hip-Hop and Rap : The Not So Silent Approach to Political Protest in Senegal : Research on Music, Politics, and Colorism
Watkins, Frank A.
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In 2011, Senegalese musicians and journalists formed a Rebel Music movement that reached and mobilized the younger generation while placing immense pressure on Senegal’s elected officials. The goal of our project was to study political protest in Senegal through the lens of music, politics and colorism. To achieve our goal, we conducted focus groups and interviewed local hip-hop artists, rappers, and musicians in three different regions of Senegal. After gathering responses from over 300 Senegalese people, we learned: 1) Hip-Hop music is seen as a way to educate one’s community and advocate for social change. 2) The political system is viewed as corrupt and cynical. 3) The majority of people who use skin bleaching products are women with a desire to be more beautiful.