Tag Archives: Cape Town

13Oct/22

What is cultural appropriation and why is it so harmful?

Adam Haupt, University of Cape Town

Die Antwoord is a South African band that uses hip-hop music to create a style it calls “zef”. Since it first appeared in 2009, Die Antwoord has been criticised for cultural appropriation (using cultural elements of a minority group in an exploitative way). It’s accused of copying the lyrics and styles of Cape Town artists rapping in South Africa’s Kaaps language, and of mimicking the visual styles of Cape Flats gang members. Adam Haupt has researched and written extensively on hip-hop and identity. He discusses cultural appropriation and the role of power in interactions between dominant and marginalised subjects in a case like Die Antwoord’s.

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