The increasing interest in the cultural economy is part of an attempt to invent new industrial development strategies that comprises a capacity to transform locations. In policy-making, the cultural economy is commonly framed from an economic perspective that salutes the role of the cultural economy and the dynamics of entrepreneurship in processes of urban and regional developments. Moreover, explorations of cultural economy and entrepreneurship are mainly represented by studies of Europe and North America. This thesis departs from such a normative perspective, and critically examines the links between a situated music economy, its cultural entrepreneurs and social change in West Africa. The empirical investigation of West African hip hop musical practitioners is framed by the notion of “community of practice”. The situated practices of these cultural workers and their music production ecology are investigated – methodologically – from a grounded perspective in order to grasp the originality of their materiality and aesthetics. The empirical focus of this thesis research is Dakar, one Francophone West African urban locale, which is contrasted with the ‘test case’ site of Ouagadougou. The case study locations are ‘experientially situated’, and over seventy semi-structured interviews were conducted with a range of participants both directly and indirectly involved in the hip hop music economy. Underpinning this research is the starting point that using “community of practice” as a conceptual framework offers a theoretically informed empirical basis for situating cultural entrepreneurship in the context of the West African music economy. In response, this thesis introduces the transcultural dimension of Hip Hop to frame its radical culturalisation of the West African music economy. This is done by singling out the political, social and theoretical significance of how hip hop entrepreneurship has become a force to be reckoned within social change in Francophone West Africa: this is a significant contribution of the thesis.