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date: 25 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on three hip hop scenes in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil’s two largest cities. It begins with a discussion of democracia racial (racial democracy), a sociohistorical hypothesis that was taken up as a national point of pride. It argues that the concept is crucial to understand the relations between race and hip hop in the country. The remainder of the chapter focuses on three scenes between the 1980s and the 2010s. It starts with funk carioca, a highly popular dance-oriented music that took off at the funk parties. The second scene is São Paulo rap, which gained national attention with its more dance-averse laid-back beats and scathing commentary on violence and racism. The third and final case study examines funk ostentação, a variant of funk carioca centered on conspicuous consumption. The chapter concludes with a discussion of more recent shifts in hip hop, popular culture, and identity politics in the country.

Keywords: funk carioca, funk ostentação, Brazil, racial democracy, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, popular music, Latin America, rap, Portuguese

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