From musical expressivity to public political discourse proper: the case of Karpe Diem in the aftermath of the Utøya massacre
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Musical communication is widely understood to be too elusive and abstract to have any discernible significance for political public discourse. However, in the aftermath of the Utøya-massacre there have been several instances where hip hop music and performances have been subjected to politicised debate in the Norwegian public sphere. Based on a qualitative case study of the media reception of the Norwegian hip hop group, Karpe Diem, this study finds that their music both provoked, and fed into, extensive public debates concerning topical cultural and political issues. Moreover, this study outlines the process through which Karpe Diem and their music came to be publicly identified, and responded to, as politically significant. Based on the evidence of the findings, this article further argues that hip hop music fills a peripheral (yet significant) function in the model of the political system as outlined by Habermas (2006).