Place markers: Tracking spatiality in Brazilian hip-hop and community radio

by Derek Pardue


Community radio and hip-hop constitute sociopolitical agency in the (sub)urban, working-class neighborhoods of São Paulo. Practitioners and performers have defined themselves, in part, by their success in “conquering space” and, in turn, have created a productive public sphere. Members of both groups consistently describe what they do as public exchange, a viable and visible option on the part of the disenfranchised to engage in a Habermasian ideal sphere of civic agency. In this article, I argue that it is this epistemology of knowledge as exchange coupled with a sociogeographical presence that make hip-hop and community radio provocative to local residents and periodically irritating to state authorities.