Publication details [#53470]

Daly Thompson, Katrina. 2010. “I am Maasai”: Interpreting ethnic parody in Bongo Flava. Language in Society 39 (4) : 493–520.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
Cambridge University Press


In showing that the Tanzanian rapper Abel Motika's stylization of ethnicity -in playful deployment of Maa pronunciation and a Swahili language game labelled kinyume or ‘backwards style’- has a contradictory impact, both validating a local ethnic identity and conserving the logic of ethnolinguistic stereotyping, this study criticizes views on hip hop that favor authorial intent and postulate linguistic subversiveness.