‘Featuring the System’: Hip hop pedagogy and Danish integration policies
During the past decades rap and hip hop culture have been utilized and institutionalized in public programs combating the radicalization and criminalization of marginalized ethnic minority youths in Denmark. Such a use of rap music, in particular, in institutionalized social work and political matters has created what I refer to as a ‘rap as resource industry’ that operates within the social sector, parallel to the ‘regular’ music industry. This article analyses personal and political inferences in policies of the system among rappers who engage with this industry as social workers and educators. Such engagements are examined by way of the metaphor of the feature: a musical practice distinct to hip hop, based on reciprocity and mutual gain. This article examines how their precarious position as mediators between youths and the system affects the individual rappers and how they handle the implicit or explicit demands and expectations placed upon them. Many of such social, rap-based projects are considered by funding bodies and users alike as great successes. Yet the articles argues that the utilization of rap and hip hop culture as social technologies can be problematic, highlighting how neo-liberal policies of outsourcing public responsibility seem to invade and affect hip hop’s ideals of social responsibility and authenticity.
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