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N*ggas in Paris: hip-hop in exile

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This essay explores the meaning potentials of the exportation of American commercial rap music (exemplified via rap stars Kanye West and Jay Z) through the metaphorical lens of the discourse of exile. This perspective opens a view to Black aspirations as a vagabond, deviant, unsettled, search for the good life. Using, for example, the uptake of West and Jay Z's song, ‘Niggas in Paris,’ in a socialist party candidate's platform ad to attract aspiring immigrant communities in France, both privileged and disadvantaged diasporic Africans, or Afropolitans, as argued herein, are of the world; but do not, necessarily, experience first-class citizenship, despite the state of their mobility. Additional examinations of digital, sonic, lyrical and material art are undertaken by the author to reveal the search for deeper meaning and freedom among Afrodiasporic populations within the United States and globally.
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Keywords: Afropolitanism; Black diaspora; Jay Z; Kanye West; exile; exportation; hip-hop

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of African and African American Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

Publication date: March 3, 2016

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