Assembling Aarhus West

Glocal rap, genre and heterogeneity


  • Mads Krogh University of Aarhus



genre theory, hip-hop studies, globalization, assemblage, heterogeneity


Aarhus West rap music constitutes a dominant trend within Danish hip-hop. Throughout the 2000s, a number of rappers with a common background in a specific area in the western part of Aarhus rose to national fame, setting sales records while bringing issues of ethnic and socio-geographical marginalization into the Danish popular music and cultural mainstream. In this article, I present Aarhus West as a case study to discuss (sub)generic developments within hip hop as a global phenomenon. While considering current developments in popular music genre theory, I argue that predominant notions of “glocalized” rap as ‘resistance vernaculars’ or ‘global noise’ (cf. Hawkins et al. 2004, Mitchell 2001) risk maintaining overly homogenous understandings of genre. In particular, I appeal to the Deleuzian concept of assemblage to highlight heterogeneity – and more specifically continuous de- and re-territorialization within a heterogeneous milieu of rap music, hip hop culture, social, ethnic and geographical conditions, media, political and commercial interests – as a key issue in understanding musico-generic development, persistence and strength.

Author Biography

Mads Krogh, University of Aarhus

Mads Krogh is Associate Professor at the School of Communication and Culture—Musicology, University of Aarhus. He specializes in issues of genre, mediation and practice in relation to popular music culture and with a particular focus on hip-hop and rap music in Denmark and Scandinavia.



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How to Cite

Krogh, M. (2017). Assembling Aarhus West: Glocal rap, genre and heterogeneity. Popular Music History, 10(3), 280–296.