Ugandan Popular Music

This project will be realized in collaboration with the Popular Culture Archive Project at the Center for Basic Research. Participating student Joel Isabirye was between 2002 and 2004 in charge of establishing the Archive. The project was funded by DANIDA, but has not been followed up academically. Support from NUFU will hopefully enable a revitalization of The Popular Culture Archive.

Rap music and hip-hop youth culture as well as Kadongo Kamu will be some of the genres to be studied. These musics are prominent in contemporary Ugandan culture, and are used politically, both as critique and propaganda. Present undergraduate research on the impact of technology on this musical culture and related issues need to be followed up with a more scientific approach. This project also represents a socio-geographic extension of project leader Thomas SolomonĀ“s research on rap and hip-hop. He plans to make a research trip to Uganda to research rap and hip-hop in Kampala, with a special focus on the politics of language choice (use of English vs. native African languages) in Ugandan rap music.

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