Home Institution

Pomona College

Publication Date

Fall 2007

Program Name

Brazil: Culture, Development, and Social Justice


Hip Hop and, more specifically, Rap music, has been a culture rooted in the notion of the social periphery, the section of society excluded from mainstream, capitalist, bourgeois society. It has historically been a way for this voiceless, disenfranchised, and alienated population to criticize, question, and protest its societal position. The Movimento do Hip-Hop Organizado uses this medium as a way of politicizing and mobilizing the excluded members of Brazilian society. Using Hip-Hop, the organization constructs a socially informed, politically aware, and critically conscious community that is united through their common identification with Hip-Hop culture and MH2O. The case is made for this hypothesis by highlighting the movement use of a common relation to the history of Hip-Hop, the reflective capabilities of Rap music, the appropriation of the culture to fit local surroundings, members of the movement as a source of inspiration, and events to enter into direct dialogue with the people in order to create a peripheral community. I conclude that the establishment of this community among disenfranchised and rebellious youth not only demonstrates the effectiveness of MH2O, but also the power of Hip-Hop as a means of affecting real social change.


Anthropology | Ethnomusicology | Music | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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