Negotiating Youth Identity in a Transnational Context in Nigeria

Thumbnail Image
Oni, D.
Omoniyi, T
Scheld, S
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Routledge Publishers
Russell Potter’s concept of ‘resistance vernaculars’ () is evident in the style and lyrics of Lágbájá, a Nigerian musician who is currently popular among African youth at home and abroad. Youth identities based in Lágbájá’s music would appear to be a mere mimicry of US hip‐hop. We demonstrate that Lágbájá’s work is not an imitation of an American resistance vernacular, however. Lágbájá’s music emphasises themes of hybridity and global cultural diversity. His music provides Nigerian youth with a means to break into other worlds and markets, as well as a way to access that which is global. His music also complements efforts by Nigerian political leaders to facilitate an African renaissance. In this light, Lágbájá’s music is a complex form of a resistance vernacular. Potter’s concept is useful for considering the political dimensions to this music; however, it is limited for shedding light on Nigerian youth, their concerns and the role that popular youth music plays in the developing nation‐state. This discussion is based on interviews conducted with Lágbájá in 2005 and an analysis of his musical style and lyrics.
Scholarly article
Russell Potter’s concept of ‘resistance vernaculars , African youth , cultural diversity , American resistance vernacular , Music , Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION::Aesthetic subjects
Omoniyi, T, Scheld, S & Oni, D (2009), Negotiating Youth Identity in a Transnational Context in Nigeria, Social Dynamics, 1 -18