Somali-born rapper K'naan says hip-hop records helped him cope with his country's civil war, his adolescence as a refugee and his life as an immigrant in North America. "It's a whole new thing that is happening, even in villages in Africa," said K'naan, whose music touches on everything from personal empowerment to life in Somalia.
Marc Perry, an anthropologist at the University of Illinois, says despite rap's commercialization, socially conscious hip-hop is common among immigrants in the West and black populations in such countries as Brazil and South Africa. That's not surprising given hip-hop's history, Perry said at a recent symposium at Concordia University called Hip-Hop: Culture of Resistance. >> continue