Code-Switching in Contemporary Ghanaian Hip-hop Lyrics
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This paper explores the function of code-switching between English and Twi in contemporary Ghanaian hip-hop music. Previous research has shown that code-switching is common in daily discourse in Ghana, where this paper explores whether code-switching occurs regularly in Ghanaian hip-hop music as well. It was found that it occurs most frequently to express emotions and represent Ghanaian culture, such as street culture and religion. The connection to this subculture is proven to be important for globalisation of the music as hip-hop artists use their indigenous language to represent the streets, but accompany it with English lyrics to make the topics globally acknowledged. Although the function of code-switching does not seem to follow a specific pattern, it most likely functions as a way of self-expression, allowing the artists to include themselves in the American hip-hop culture. Researching code-switching in Ghanaian hip-hop music will add to previous knowledge about English in African hip-hop and give insight into current language attitudes towards English in Ghana.