Rapping Postcoloniality: Akala's 'The Thieves Banquet' and Neocolonial Critique

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MC/rapper, public speaker, journalist, graphic novelist and founder of the Hip-hop Shakespeare Company, Akala (b. Kingslee James Daley, 1983) is one of the rappers at the forefront of the UK's thriving hip-hop scene. His lyrics and music demonstrate an awareness of history and, in particular, the British Empire's shameful past as global colonizers and profiteers of the slave trade. Focusing on his album The Thieves Banquet (2013), this article investigates Akala's engagement with postcolonial thinking and neocolonial critique through the use of Western classical music tropes and multi-accentuality to create hybrid counter-narratives reflective of twenty-first century global power relations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalPopular Music and Society
Issue number1
Early online date29 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Black Humanities


  • Akala
  • hip-hop
  • postcolonialism
  • rap
  • popular music
  • The Thieves Banquet
  • UK hip-hop


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