6.1 Findings and hypothesis
This study suggests that Eurgh assesses the levels of respect within different speech situations and his use of HHNL varies accordingly, both in terms of the purpose and extent of his language use. Within a battle context, Eurgh uses the highest concentration of HHNL, as a means of forming ‘filler’ lines upon which to hang insults, whilst still maintaining respect when these elements of verbal play are not being used. In a non-play context within the social boundaries of the battling social group. Eurgh uses HHNL in a different structural capacity: to maintain authenticity in light of heavy negotiations of respect. Outside of a Hip Hop community, within the interview, Eurgh uses HHNL primarily when discussing notions of the identity and prestige of himself and the British ‘scene’ in general. This works in synchronicity with the hypothesis posited earlier. Also within the interview, Eurgh highlights themes and notable differences between different rappers in the UK and between US and UK rappers, and most importantly highlights the focus of British battling on the skillful manipulation of language rather than the importance of an imposing ‘street’ image. He sets these wheels in motion within the content of his own rapping. This ideology then pointed to wider discussions about the links between cultural values and language practices, and this allowed for a suggestion of social discrepancies and historical stimuli that laid the foundations for a UK Hip Hop culture.
There are fundamental issues when analysing a single rapper to the exclusion of others. As Eurgh states within the interview, a rapper’s stylistic and linguistic choice all ‘depend on what kind of person [they] are’ (Appendix 1) and it is these idiosyncrasies that prevent this study from being generalised to every UK rapper. It was never intended to be so: what Eurgh has demonstrated is a manifestation of cultural influences and this will not necessarily apply to other rappers. Others may use these stimuli to different ends. There are many factors that impact on the delivery and content of battle verses: accent, dialect, class and ethnicity are all factors that may affect a rapper’s stance and style within battle verses.
Region is also a decisive factor. In studying UK rap, one must also consider that ‘Don’t Flop’ has battle divisions in Scotland and Ireland also, as well as separate divisions representing the north and south of England. Within these boundaries is not only a wide variety of dialects and language varieties, as well as localised slang, but also specific sociological and cultural factors that would not be found in the language of an English rapper such as Eurgh. Due to the restrictions of the study, there are many interesting and relevant variations on the sociolinguistic pattern exhibited by Eurgh that bear scrutiny and are yet to be examined.
The use of qualitative data itself introduces complications. Without quantitative statistics, the study cannot be used as conclusive proof of patterns in the use of HHNL. As aforementioned, this study was never intended to act as a framework for generalisation: Eurgh was chosen as a representative example of British Hip Hop culture, in terms of his significance and not the study’s wider applicability. A quantitative study would not so easily permit the analysis into the utility and purpose of the language choices he was making. The social mechanics behind his language use were the focus of the study. It oss more logical to identify the linguistic motives of one rapper rather than trying to generalise fixed rules from a culture filled built around anomalies and exceptions.
6.3 Further Research
Given the limited body of work that exists on British battle rapping, there is ample scope for further research. A viable study would be one within the context of the ‘Blood In The Water’ events (Appendix 1, p. 2) which see UK rappers compete against US rappers. This would allow for a more direct comparison between transatlantic usage of HHNL, and point to further distinctions between the sociohistorical source of Hip Hop and its British counterpart. Given UK Hip Hop’s cross-racial profile, some interesting analysis could be made of racial insults and their use within a British arena. In general, because of their structural similarities, the framework of any existing study, such as Fitzpatrick’s or Remes’, could be adapted to a British context and used to address the external stimuli that influence battling’s development more directly. In addition, the study of the growth of battling in different countries (such as the ‘Basementality’ battle league in Sweden, in which HHNL slang terms are adopted into the Swedish language) would be useful in exploring the malleability of Hip Hop within different cultures, and further explain how a culture that emerged from very specific stimuli is being adapted as a voice for the marginalised on a global scale.