Radical religious thought in Black popular music. Five Percenters and Bobo Shanti in Rap and Reggae
AbstractThis book is discussing patterns of radical religious thought in popular forms of Black music. The consistent influence of the Five Percent Nation on Rap music as one of the most esoteric groups among the manifold Black Muslim movements has already gained scholarly attention. However, it shares more than a strong pattern of reversed racism with the Bobo Shanti Order, the most rigid branch of the Rastafarian faith, globally popularized by Dancehall-Reggae artists like Sizzla or Capleton. Authentic devotion or calculated marketing? Apart from providing a possible answer to this question, the historical shift of Bobo adherents from shunned extremists to firmly anchored personifications of authenticity in mainstream Rastafarian culture is being emphasized. A multi-layered comparative case study attempts to shed light on the re-contextualization of language as well as expressed dogmatic perceptions and symbolism, attitude towards other religious groups and aspects of ethnic discrimination. Further analysis includes the visibility of artists and their references to practical and moral issues directly derived from two obscure ideologies that managed to conquer airwaves and concert halls.