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PLACA presents: Melissa Castillo-Garsow(2)

341 Eggers Hall

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A Commitment to Rap: A Brazilian Answer to mainstream Hip Hop According to the late rapper, Sabotagem, in Brazil, “o rape é compromisso” (rap is a commitment).  In many ways, Brazilian Hip Hop developed under similar conditions as in the United States – like the first artists out of the South Bronx, young people in Brazil began rapping as a way to express the economic and social problems of their favelas (the poorest and most crime infested neighborhoods of the country). Nevertheless, today, Brazil’s Hip Hop scene looks very little like the multi-million dollar industry of the United States. In contrast to today’s commercially successful and widely embraced American brand of Hip Hop, in Brazil this music continues to be characterized by its opposition to corporations, highly political themes, and scorn towards lyrics that boast about wealth or sexual conquests.  By comparing the historical roots and development of Hip Hop both in the United States and Brazil, it is clear that despite numerous similarities and shared origins, this genre holds a very different place and purpose in these two countries.  


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