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Hip Hop in Africa ~The HipLife, Author & Filmmaker Jessse Shipley

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The Gist of Freedom

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Join The Gist of Freedom as we welcome author and filmmaker Jesse Weaver Shipley!  Jesse is An Associate Professor of Anthropology at Haverford College, and author of the book  (“Living the Hiplife: Celebrity and Enterpreneurship in Ghanaian Popular Music,” Duke U. Press, 2013). He is also the director of the film Living the Hiplife. "This film is a musical portrait of street life in urban West Africa. It follows the birth of Hiplife music in Accra, Ghana, a mix of various African musical forms and American hip hop. Archival footage and hip hop music videos are remixed with interviews and the daily lives of rap artists. We follow Reggie Rockstone, the Godfather of Hiplife in the founding of the musical movement, as well as the Mobile Boys a group of aspiring rap artists as they try to make it in the music business. With humor and personality these characters move across the political and musical landscape of urban Ghana.

Reviews"Rappers in Accra, Ghana, have fused American hip-hop with a form of Ghanaian music called highlife to create a new genre: hiplife. Living the Hiplife hangs out with several of the rappers, DJs, and producers, capturing their views on hiplife's origins and significance. The film's director, Jesse W. Shipley--a professor of African Studies--draws on his scholarly expertise, while also deftly mixing in commentary from University of Ghana professors on the cultural, historical and economic of hiplife."

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