Extant studies on Nigerian hip-hop have approached the genre as an act and as an art from psycholinguistic, social, sociolinguistic and pragmatic dimensions. However, the possibility of evoking humour through the careful deployment of language by Nigerian hip-hop artistes is a phenomenon which has largely escaped the attention of scholars within the ambit of linguistics. This research therefore investigates how the Nigerian hip-hop artistes, beyond the rhythm and lyrics of their songs, poke humour at the listeners. The study employs Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory to analyse the humourous utterances in four purposively selected hip hop songs: Jo o, by Jahbless, Eyan Mayweather by Olamide Penalty by Small Doctor and Lyrically by Lil Kesh. The choice of artistes was based on consideration for the two popular subgenres for Nigerian hip-hop which are rap and dance hall while the choice of tracks was consideration for their humorous potentials. The humorous utterances are either name-induced or object/phenomenon induced. The study finds that metaphor, hyperbole, punning, teasing, putdown and litotes, complemented with linguistic devices such as polysemy and repetition, are the humour techniques that are deployed to amuse listeners. Humour strategies adopted by Nigerian hip-hop artistes are comparing, contrasting and extending corresponding concepts, distorting collective knowledge of people, social events and situations and manipulating shared cultural representations. Nigerian hip-hop songs are spiced with humorous utterances which can only be deciphered by people who share the socio-cultural world of the artistes.
Alvarado, M. Belén. (2010). An approach to verbal humour in interaction. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 95 ( 2013 ) 594 – 603
Attardo, S. and Raskin, V. 1991. “Script theory revis(it)ed: Joke similarity and joke
representation model.” Humor: International Journal of Humour Research 4: 293–348.
Attardo, S. (1994). Linguistic Theories of Humour. New York: Mouton de Gruyter
Attardo, S. (2001a). Humorous Texts: A semantic and pragmatic analysis. Berlin:Mouton De Gruyter.
Dynel, M. (2009). ‘Beyond a joke: types of conversational humour’. Language and
Linguistics Compass 3 (5), pp. 1284-1299.
Filani, I. 2016. Humour strategies and acts in Nigerian standup comedy. PhD. Thesis. Dept. of English. University of Ibadan.
Gibbs. R.W. and O‟Brien J (1991). Psychological aspects of Irony understanding Journal of Pragmatics, 16 (6), 525-530
Gibbs, R.W. (1999) Intentions in the experience of meaning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Huron D. (2004). Music-engendered laughter: an analysis of humour devices in PDQ Bach. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Music Reception and Cognition. Evanston IL.
Ojoawo, A. A discourse analysis of sexual themes in Nigerian hip-hop music. Ife Studies in English Language, 12(2) pp 104-140
Raskin, V. (1985). Semantic Mechanisms of Humour. Dordrecht: D. Reidel.
Suls Jerry (1972) A two-stage model for the appreciation of jokes and cartoons An Information Processing analysis. In Psychology of humour, (eds) Paul, Jerry, Golden and McGhee (eds) New York: Academic Press PP 81-100
Suls Jerry (1973) Cognitive Process if Humour appreciation. In Paul; McGhee, Jerry and Goldstein (eds) Handbook of humour research, New York: Sptinger- verlag pp39-57
Wilson, D. & Sperber, D. (1986) Inference and implicature In C. Travis (ed.) Meaning and
Interpretation, 45-75. Oxford: Blackwell. Reprinted in S. Davis (ed.) (1991), 377-393
Yus, F. 2003. Humour and the search for relevance. Journal of Pragmatics 35: 1295-
Yus, F. 2004. Pragmatics of humorous strategies in El club de la comedia. Current
Trends in the Pragmatics of Spanish R. Marquez-Reiter and M.E. Placencia. Eds. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 320-344.