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The Culture of AIDS in AfricaHope and Healing Through Music and the Arts$
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Gregory Barz and Judah Cohen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744473

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199744473.001.0001

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Positive Disturbance

Positive Disturbance

Tafash, Twig, HIV/AIDS, and Hip Hop in Uganda

Chapter:
(p.362) 30 Positive Disturbance
Source:
The Culture of AIDS in Africa
Author(s):

Gregory Barz

Gerald C. Liu

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199744473.003.0030

This chapter draws on an ethnographic “experimental moment” in research with female MCs in Uganda, during which the authors of this chapter consciously engaged in what could be understood as a manipulation of popular musicians. The authors asked Ugandan hip hop artists known for their socially conscious rap music to record music responding to their own self-described inability to achieve commercial airtime. The tracks that emerged highlight social concerns related to rape, HIV/AIDS, and specific gender issues such as pregnancy, spousal abuse, and education—issues that speak directly to youth in Uganda in ways heretofore unachieved through other popular media. By analyzing the HIV-related lyrics of MCs Tafash and Twig through the lens of each rapper’s spiritual grounding, the authors show how understandings of the disease contribute to a sense of dialogic theology and personal struggle within Ugandan hip hop society.

Keywords:   hip hop, MCs, Uganda, hip hop artists, rap music, HIV/AIDS, youth, Tafash, Twig, dialogic theology

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