Journal of Cape Verdean Studies


Ricardo D. Rosa


The paper traces the possibilities and limitations of transnational Cape Verdean Hip-Hop’s mobilization of the culture of radical memory for the disruption of racialized transnational capitalism and neocolonialism. One of the most common reference points, both in the symbolic formations of popular culture and emerging scholarly texts is the focus on CV Hip-Hop’s embrace of the life and work of Amilcar Cabral. Undoubtedly, Cape Verdean Hip-Hop Culture(s) & Cape Verdean youth counter-culture(s), more broadly, continues to serve as the most vital space for the (re)mobilization and (re)invigoration of Cabral’s thought, yet, much more is unfolding in these spaces. The paper argues that we must maintain a broader analysis on the intersection of the art form and the culture of memory. It also argues that our analysis must perpetually name regressive forces even as progressive projects unfold so as not to re-inscribe negative relations of power. Although the paper is primarily conceptual/theoretical, the tools of ethnography (rather than a full blown ethnography) are intersected to centralize artistic voices and for purposes of reflexivity. Observations of CV Hip-Hop music videos take centrality as it allows one to comprehend emerging elements of hip-hop beyond rap lyrics. Transcripts of interviews with hip-hop heads are integrated throughout.

Note on the Author

Dr. Ricardo Rosa is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Dr. Rosa is the Co-Author of Pedagogy in the Age of Media Control: Language Deception and Digital Democracy (2011) and Capitalism’s Educational Catastrophe: And the Advancing Endgame Revolt! (2015). His research interests include, Curriculum and Instruction, Language Policies, Literacy and Social Studies Education.