ABSTRACT

This chapter examines the use of languages other than English in rap music outside the USA as examples of 'resistance vernaculars' which re-territorialize major Anglophone rules of intelligibility and those of other 'standard' languages such as French and Italian. Maori rappers in Aotearoa/New Zealand, which is on the antipodes of Italy, illustrate another peripheral use of indigenous language as 'resistance vernacular'. The chapter argues that rhizomatic, diasporic flows of rap music outside the USA correspond to the formation of syncretic 'glocal' subcultures, in Roland Robertson's sense of the term, involving local indigenizations of the global musical idiom of rap. It presents an example from Zimbabwe which challenges the standard rhetoric about the Afro-diasporic and Afrocentric aspects of African-American rap and hip hop. The variety of ethnic origins among French rappers, from Senegal and French West Africa to the French Caribbean to the Arab populations of North Africa and other parts of Europe, is notable.