African-American Vernacular English as Hip-Hop Artist Identity in Indonesian Rapper Ramengvrl's Songs


This study aimed to investigate and identify the grammatical features of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) used in the song lyrics of the Indonesian Rapper Ramengvrl’s album, Can’t Speak English, and understand the underlying reasons for this AAVE use by applying the language and society of sociolinguistics approach. The data was analyzed using Wolfram’s theory of classification of grammatical features of AAVE in Ramengvrl’s songs to elaborate on the purpose of its use. The data analyzed were qualitatively collected by closely and thoroughly listening to the songs and reading the transcribed lyrics. The results are as follows: Ramengvrl employs 8 out of 13 grammatical features of AAVE. Those are copula/auxiliary absence, specialized auxiliary, subject-verb agreement, negation, remote “been,” nominals, non-standard pronouns, and question formation. Furthermore, this AAVE use by Ramengvrl is because of (1) the influences of Hip-hop artists, (2) the authenticity of Hip-Hop culture, and (3) as an anti-language to represent herself.

Keywords: African-American Vernacular English, AAVE, hip-hop, identity

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