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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Racionais MC’s and N.W.A.: Bridging the Gap, Embracing Race, and Reclaiming Brazilian Rap’s Blackness


Notwithstanding the already established prominence of scholarship on rap music produced in the United States, Brazilian scholars rarely refer to American studies. Furthermore, a few comparative studies between Brazilian and American rap lyrics do exist. This study takes a step toward filling such a gap. While examining dominant scholarship on rap in Brazil, I demonstrate how Brazilian scholars render blackness invisible in their approaches to rap. Through a comparison between N.W.A.’s and Racionais MC’s’s lyrics, in which I highlight some of rap’s aesthetic and rhetoric devices that both groups share, I ultimately reclaim the place of blackness in Brazilian rap.

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