The African diaspora through Portuguese hip hop music: a case study

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

168 Downloads (Pure)


Hip-hop culture emerged in the 1970s in New York’s black neighborhoods, particularly in the Bronx. With roots in Kingston, Jamaica, it found a rich space for its development in the block parties where a DJ played samples and entertained the community. Being at first an aesthetic manifestation, it soon became a social and political tool for the new generation who found a different way to express itself through deejaying, emceeing, breakdancing, and graffiti art. These forms of political action laid the groundwork for what became a much wider, deeply conscious, and globally dispersed cultural movement. Portugal’s first contact with hip-hop culture dates from the decade of 1980 and it happened through breakdance. It is precisely in the decade of the 1980s that the migratory traffic of people coming from the PALOPs towards Lisbon gets more intense. The African immigrants had to undergo a hurried integration that left aside all the cultural differences. Thus, they continued to suffer of a clandestine state of being and to hold on to the hope of going back home. Although at that time hip-hop had little space in the Portuguese media, through radio and television the residents of Lisbon’s peripheral areas were able to access the works of the North American rappers. They became aware of their similar conditions and experiences and this lead to the birth of rap. Hip-hop also aims at negotiating between the experiences of marginalization, oppression, and ethnic prejudice, through the constant exercise of meta-language that allows it to translate the feeling of injustice lived by the young afro-descendants and at the margins of society. In this perspective, we intent to observe how the perception and the memory of Africa and of the African diaspora is rebuilt by Valete, a Lisbon-based rapper, son of Santomean parents.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventCongresso Internacional Exodus: Migrações e Fronteiras - Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
Duration: 21 Sep 201623 Sep 2016


ConferenceCongresso Internacional Exodus: Migrações e Fronteiras
Internet address


  • Hip Hop culture
  • African diaspora
  • Music of the African diaspora
  • Portuguese Afro-descendants
  • Portuguese hip hop
  • Valete


Dive into the research topics of 'The African diaspora through Portuguese hip hop music: a case study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this