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Title: Critical reflections on rap music in contemporary Morocco : urban youth culture between and beyond state's co-optation and dissent
Author: Moreno Almeida, Cristina
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 8037
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis delves into the Moroccan rap scene and contemporary Morocco's social, political and economic context to examine the role of the state headed by the Makhzen (the Moroccan ruling elites) as main patrons of the arts in its attempt to use rap as a tool for social control. This project explores how, by promoting a 'modern' and liberal image of the country through patronage of selective rappers, the country's elites have honed a particular vision of the nation. It also looks at how other civil society groups have capitalized on rap to fulfill their own political agendas. Though forces conspired to silence certain rappers, voices of dissent that oppose dominant narratives have also emerged. Moreover, this thesis reflects on the different signifiers used to gain an audience and popular support, and the relation of rappers with urban unprivileged youth and their feelings of exclusion. It goes on to provide a nuanced analysis of rappers use of language, urban spaces, national and international music genres. In its analysis, this thesis unravels the Moroccan rap scene both as a music production at the intersection of national and local cultural politics, as well as one influenced by global cultural flows. It also examines how rappers reimagine national identity and the politics of patriotic rap songs. By presenting the complexities of the rap scene, this thesis aims at challenging the representation of youth cultural production in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region and Africa as simply a 'protest' culture. It looks beyond the binary where music is understood either as co-opted or dissenting and explores the politics of artistic creativity and music aesthetics. Analysis is supported by two years of fieldwork that expands on the dominant perception of rap music and youth in Morocco, the MENA region and Africa.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available