Creativity and Authenticity in an Emerging Naija’s Youth Hip Hop Culture

Idom T. Inyabri[1], Eyo O. Mensah[2], Kaka Ochagu[3]

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[1] PhD, Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Calabar, Nigeria

[2] PhD (Corresponding Author), Department of Linguistics, University of Calabar, Nigeria, ORCID: 0000-0001-5838-0462, e-mail:

[3] PhD, Department of General Studies, College of Health Technology, Calabar, Nigeria



DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.8387864

Since the last quarter of the 20th century, hip hop has become a cultural means of self-expression, entertainment, and empowerment for youths throughout the world. The creative manipulation of verbal and non-verbal codes has been the main vehicle through which the enormous hip hop cultural industry has been sustained and revitalized. This study investigates the creative ingenuity of a group of Naija (Nigerian) youths in Calabar, south-eastern Nigeria, in the creation of a peculiar hip hop brand in the Nigerian Hip Hop Nation (NHHN). Particularly, the study works through Appadurai’s (1996, 2002) theory on migration and the electronic media as agents of modernity to apprehend the emergence and development of hip hop in Nigeria through the example of Calabar hip hop exponents. This article also derives discursive insight from Alim’s (2009) idea of style as a major non-verbal linguistic vector of hip hop to identify and interrogate the creative ingenuity of the Nigerian youths here examined. Our study concludes that through the formation of a creative bond and the manipulation verbal and performance codes from their cultural space these Nigerian youths have established a peculiar brand of hip hop and are contributing to the transnational, multi-vocal Global Hip Hop Nation.


Keywords: Naija Hip Hop, Calabar; Electronic Media, Migration, Identity, Style, Youth; Creativity, Authenticity, Postcolonialism, Poststructuralism.


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