Resistance of rap: an ever struggling battlefield in Bangladesh
AuthorSitab, Tahmin Alam
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The thesis explores the relationship of rap and resistance among youth in urban Bangladesh, situated in a transnational context. I first show how rap, a global phenomenon, becomes localized and gains its resistive nature in the particular context of Bangladesh. All over the world, rap has gained its massive popularity using the mechanisms of global market but at the same time managed to avoid the pitfalls of marketization. Through a close analysis of rap lyrics produced in two specific sites – by professional bands and those who frequent mazaars, and my own ethnographic study of these two groups, I have argued that both urban middle class and lower class youth of these two specific sites tend to take rap as a form of resistance as well as a lifestyle in Bangladeshi localized context. The resistance of rap in Bangladesh can overlook its market components not only because there is a lack of music market, rather the particular youths associated with rap representing resistance almost all of the time come from a struggling socio-economic background. The struggling nature and nurture of these young rappers in Bangladesh then contribute to the resistive element of their songs, giving them the ability to withstand market demand and acceptability.