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After rap entered the German music scene in the 1980s, it developed into a variety of styles that reflect Germany's increasingly multiethnic social fabric. Politically conscious rap assumed greater relevance after unification, focusing on issues of discrimination, integration, and xenophobia. Gangsta rap, with its emphasis on street conflict and violence, brought the ghetto to Germany and sparked debates about the condition of German cities and the erosion of civic consciousness. Alternately celebrated and reviled by the media, both styles utilize rap's synthesis of authenticity and performance to redefine the relationship between minority identity and German identity and debunk Leitkultur.

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Copyright © 2011, The Johns Hopkins University Press. This article first appeared in German Studies Review 34:2 (2011), 377-398.

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