Rockstone’s Offi ce
entrepreneurship and the debt of celebrity
Th is book has traced how artists and publics make musical value and
use celebrity as a form of currency to convert aesthetic into economic
value. Th ese pro cesses reveal a resonance between the aesthetics of music
and of entrepreneurship. Th is is most apparent in how value is made
through various kinds of social circulation and how artists struggle to
harness the potentials of mobility as changing technologies reshape
what and how people, things, and signs move. For young Ghanaians, the
musician- entrepreneur is a self- fashioning gure who succeeds by har-
nessing pure aspiration. New musical audiences are called into being as
artists reinvent older forms of verbal eloquence in the context of a
commercial digital- media landscape.
Aesthetics is usually concerned with beauty and examining the for-
mal visual, literary, tonal, or compositional properties of artistic works
in intellectual terms (Ea gleton 1990, 13– 17). Instead, I have used it to
demonstrate that formal properties of texts must be understood in
social contexts that shape the aff ective, embodied tastes and values of
audiences and artists. Th ese pragmatic relationships that make mean-
ing are subsequently themselves reshaped in the contexts of meaning-
making. Aesthetics is a rubric for linking formal musical, visual, and
linguistic properties to technological, spatial, temporal, and political-
economic registers through experiential practices that make and
maintain them. I have shown how hiplife is defi ned by an aesthetic of
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