A new way of being Italian through the lens of hip hop

Margherita Angelucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The pivotal role of Hip Hop music in identity formation processes of youth of migrant background has been established in many countries. Yet this issue has not been explored in the Italian context. In this paper, I present preliminary findings from a broader doctoral research project that investigates how Italian youth of African descent employ Hip Hop discursive practices to negotiate and build a sense of cultural identity that responds to the marginalisation and racialisation they face in Italian society and challenges the idea of Italy as a demographically and culturally homogeneous country. Through Critical Discourse Analysis of song lyrics and semi-structured interviews, I have found that Afroitalian rappers construct their cultural identities through a complex and ongoing process of transculturation, where elements from different cultural backgrounds interact in their artistic production and are modified thereby. Language choices play a major part in the identity-construction process. The analysis reveals the prevalence of translanguaging practices in the songs. Afroitalian rappers employ their linguistic repertoires as integrated systems where languages are not treated as separate entities but blended together on multiple levels. The act of translanguaging, I argue, is a marked choice involving discourses of identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-193
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Intercultural Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Afroitalian youth
  • cultural identity
  • Hip Hop
  • Italy

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