chapter  2
Where Does World Music Come From? Globalization, Afropop and the Question of Cultural Identity 1
ByDavid Murphy
Pages 24

This chapter examines the role of contemporary African popular music as an expression of cultural identity in Africa. It focuses on the particular case of Youssou NDour from Senegal, while analysing the means by which this music is repackaged and reinvented for consumption in the West. African pop music is marked by syncretism of diverse African and Western elements in terms of musical style and lyrical content, as well as in the image projected by bands to their audience. Most critics argue that Afropop is a genuine expression of African popular culture, despite their disagreements about the nature of these cultures. Equally, it would be wrong simply to assume that the Afropop marketed in the West as world music is an authentic expression of contemporary popular African cultures. World music is a primarily Western phenomenon the music is different to Western pop music but increasingly repackaged in a more digestible form, and it's marketed towards an educated, liberal, middle-class audience.