Slangy expressions and catchy phrases are deliberately used in hip-hop songs in order to reduce the degree of vulgarity in the content of the song so as not to disrupt society moral norms, and to increase the rate of acceptability of such song amidst listeners, to avoid direct stating of the name of the referent (s) in a satirical song for instance, and also for singers to create a landmark worth discussing even while the song is no longer in vogue.
Aside all these, slang forms and catchy phrases give linguistic aesthetics to song and most importantly, they enable singers to pass across a whole lot of messages, even while they utter just few of these messages. This implies that there are hidden messages in slang forms and catchy phrases used in hip-hop songs, and for these hidden messages to be known to listeners, a particular level of language analysis has to be put in place. This level is found to be pragmatics. It is therefore to this end that this study sets out to undertake a pragmatic analysis of slang and catchy phrases used in some selected Nigerian hip-hop songs.
The objective of this study is to identify the real meanings of slang forms and catchy phrases that are used in Nigerian hip-hop songs, with reference to the overall meanings of these songs themselves. This identification will in turn help us to state the reasons why they (these slang forms and catchy phrases) are used in the songs and their contributions to the singers’ intended meanings of these songs. Haven achieved this objective, we conclude that, for real meanings of hip-hop songs to be known to all and sundry, a pragmatic analysis is necessary.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Table of contents vi - viii
1.2.Purpose of the Research3
1.3.Justification of the Study4
1.4. Research question4
1.5. Research Hypothesis5
1.6. Scope of the Study5
1.7. Methodology of Research5-6
2.0 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
18.104.22.168 Goals of Pragmatics and its Theories8-9
22.214.171.124 Goals of Pragmatics Theories9
126.96.36.199 Theories of Pragmatics10
188.8.131.52A.J.L. Austin’s Theory10-12
184.108.40.206John .R Searle’s Theory12-13
220.127.116.11Kent Bach and Robert Harnish’s Theory13-15
18.104.22.168Elements of Pragmatic15-16
2.2 Aspects of meaning in pragmatics21
2.2.2 Denotation and connotation 22
2.2.3 Encoding and decoding 22-23
2.3 Slang 23-24
2.3.1 Kinds of slang24-25
2.3.2 Usages of slang 25
2.4.1 Definition and evolution of hip-hop 26
2.4.2 Old school hip-hop 26
2.4.3 Golden era of hip-hop26-27
2.4.4 Hip-hop in Nigeria 27
3.0CHAPTER THREE: DATA ANALYSIS
3.1Song A: - ‘Maryjane’ by vector da viper28
3.1.2Identified slangy forms29
2.1.3Analysis of identified slangy forms29-34
3.2Song B:-‘Petepete’ (mud) by 9ice34
3.2.2Identified catchy phrases34-35
3.2.3Analysis of identified catchy phrases35-39
3.3Song C:-‘Otiyanyan’ by Slimjoe40
3.3.2Identified slangy forms/Catchy phrases40
3.3.3Analysis of identified slangy forms/catchy phrases40-45
3.4.Song D:-‘Enter d place’ by 2face Idibia45
3.4.1Short summary 45
3.4.2Identified slangy forms45
3.4.3Analysis of identified slangy forms46-50
4.0 CHAPTER FOUR: SUMMARY, FINDINGS &CONCLUSION
Language is a major and an indispensable tool in human existence. No wonder Microsoft Encarta (2009) defines it as “the principal means used by human beings to communicate with one another”. Language is primarily spoken, although it can be transferred to other media such as written, non-verbal and so on. It is therefore, the bedrock of communication which holds a society together.
Communication occurs in various ways: in the forms of, interaction through conversation (discourse), speech delivery, the media (such as radio and television), sign language, music (irrespective of the genre) and many others. It is a point worth nothing here that, in each of these forms, pieces of information are essentially being invested with different senses(meanings), and passed across to different kinds of individuals who in turn deduce various meanings from the information passed, based on their individual views and prejudices about such information. Therefore, Mr. Ade’s interpretation of “i love you” may be different from that of Miss Kemi’s, even if the person singing/saying the utterance is the same. The whole of this process is called “encoding and decoding”.
Hip-hop is one of the genres of music, it is denotatively referred to as a type of modern dance music with spoken words and a steady beat played on electronic instruments. The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2000, p.566). Nigerian hip-hop, the major concern of this research work consists of hip-hop songs, written, composed, arranged, sung, promoted, and marketed in Nigeria for Nigerians.The composition of Nigerian hip-hop songs involves the careful use of lexis (the total of words or vocabulary in a language) which appropriately expresses minds of hip-hop singers.Another important aspect in the lexis of Nigerian hip-hop is the “use of slang”. Elbe, (1996,p.3) defines slang as an ever changing and fashionable set of vocabulary of sociability used to express or reinforce identity cohesiveness within a group with a trend or fashion in a society at large.
It is to be noted that, certain lexical items are used in Nigerian hip-hop songs, especially those sung in Nigerian native languages (Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa), which do not perfectly fit into the space of a slang but are at the same time, not to be categorized as conventional day to day lexis. These lexical items for the purpose of this work, are tagged, “Catchy phrases”. An example is Atilaawi (Yoruba) (meaning “the one, whom we are talking about’’) which is deliberately chosen by a Yoruba hip-hop singer to satirize (criticize) a particular leader.
At this juncture, we can easily assert, that slangy forms and catchy phrases take an important quota in hip-hop songs in Nigeria.However, if the real meanings of these slangy forms and catchy phrases within the contexts of these songs will be known, a particular level of language analysis has to be put in place. This level of language analysis is found to be pragmatics.
Adegbija (1999, p.18) defines pragmatics as “the study of language use in particular communicative contexts”. Pragmatics is an important aspect in the use of slangy expressions because it is necessary to decode the messages embedded in slang. Olukoya (2010, p.2), this is to enable listeners to deduce the overall meanings of the utterance within which these slangy forms are used.
As a result of this, in this research work, we intend to identify the real meanings of slangy expressions and catchy phrases that are used in Nigerian hip-hop songs with reference to the overall meanings of these songs themselves. This will enable us to point out the reason why they were used in the songs and their contributions to the singers’ intended meanings. The purpose of all these is to make this form of music more accessible to all and sundry by enhancing their comprehension through a pragmatic analysis
1.2 PURPOSE OF THE RESEARCH.
The purpose of this essay is to justify the deliberate insertion of slangy expressions and catchy phrases in the composition and rendition of Nigerian hip-hop songs. The study aims at asserting the fact that the singers’ intended meanings of these songs would not have been realizable without these slangy expressions and catchy phrases used in them. It therefore pragmatically analyses these slangy forms and catchy phrases with reference to the overall meanings of the songs.
Subscribe to access this work and thousands more