Research Output
Scottish People Can't Rap: an autoethnographic discussion on the local and global in Scottish hip-hop
  Scottish people can’t rap, they just cannae mate
You’d have tae be half daft where I’m comin’ fae
Weans are more concerned wi getting bevied underage
Summer rain, half baked, chappin’ doors and run away

Opening four bars from Solareye “Scottish People Can’t Rap” 2018

“Scottish People Can’t Rap” is a piece written specifically for work that I undertake within the prison system, community projects, schools and with young people. The piece serves as a provocation, that enables discussions around how social, cultural and geographic points of origin can be restrictive as regards ‘accepted’ social and cultural activities. It also highlights some of the areas where Scottish and global hip-hop cultures might seem incompatible or at odds with each other, even asking whether rap is, or can be, authentic within a Scottish context.

Focused on rap lyricism, identity and performance, this paper considers the poetics of Scottish hip-hop; how the local, global and individual intersect to “devise unique ways of communicating thoughts, emotions and everyday realities” (Alim, 2003: 62). Through an autoethnographic lens, poetic analysis and cultural commentary are employed to consider how I, and my Scottish hip-hop peers, interpret global hip-hop and filter it through local culture to create something original, believable and authentic. Furthermore, this paper will also consider how Scottish cultural attributes create alternative strategies in expressing established hip-hop formats, contributing to new remixes and hybrids of cultural interpretation.

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    06 June 2019

  • Publication Status:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Hook, D. (2019, June). Scottish People Can't Rap: an autoethnographic discussion on the local and global in Scottish hip-hop. Paper presented at Elements: 2nd Annual European Hiphop Studies Network Conference




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