Majadiliano:P. Funk

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Controversial[hariri chanzo]

  • P Funk's music--and the image that propagates from it--is one that speaks in the lingua franca of the local cultural politics of Tanzania. This image is symbolic of a viable answer to the question left by stereotypical images of US hip hop producers and the artists they employ. The question is: what is the acceptable method of manifesting success? In the US, the social, cultural norm is to don noticeably expensive clothing while women display their bodies in videos, all while posing near luxury cars of the year or better. These displays of status are visible proofs that people ascribe to the social pathology left by Western Colonialism, hwere the colonized people desire to own the same material goods and social mannerisms as the imperial culture (Fergusson, James 2002)<1>.

The status quo for successful producers such as P Funk in Tanzania is manifested in a manner which more identifies with members of the working class. This emphasis on camaraderie in this social class is in great part due to the post colonial ideologies that reigned prior to hip hop's landing in Tanzania. A community-interested society that values the significance of caring for family and an earnest livelihood was the result of imperialist influence. The counterculture is known as Kwanzania, which artists such as P Funk would describe as involving everyone who records Bongoflava music and their fans and supporters<2>. The inclusive nature juxtopposed with the exclusivity of the US hip hop stardom is yet another symptom of Africans suffering from colonial pathology....