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Brazilian Hip Hop Occupies the Classroom! Durham, Asheville, and Athens, Georgia

In a whirlwind visit, the Brazilian rapper Dudu de Morro Agudo from the urban periphery Rio de Janeiro shared his liberatory RapLab model of Hip Hop Education with students in middle, high school, and university classrooms. 

A joint initiative  of Duke and North Carolina Central University, the AY2023-24 Bass Connections project on “Hip Hop Pedagogies” got a chance to see in action the innovative approach to education honed by the community organization Instituto Enraizados (Institute of the Rooted), which he leads.

Working with Dr. Kisha Daniels (Program in Education), Duke students used RapLab techniques this spring semester in a class at Neale Middle School where Dudu joined the students on two successive Fridays, the second to record their songs.

Presenting with the team at a conference in Asheville, North Carolina, Dudu and team members also met with local rappers in Durham and spent two days with the Hip Hop Scene in Athens, Ga., led by Montu Miller, including visits to a high school, an ambitious training center for youth, and participated in a monthly open mike event with 120 participants.

Sharing his wealth of experience and educational philosophy, all who came in contact with Dudu de Morro Agudo during his April 4-14, 2024 tour were left wiser, more attuned to the problems we face, and even more convinced that change is not only possible but imperative in today’s world.

For more on the background of this collaboration:  https://bassconnections.duke.edu/about/news/hip-hop-education-and-inspiration-brazil-and-united-states

For examples of the contagious Hip Hop at Enraizados, see the ten minute video shot during our team’s August 2024 Bass Connections field trip to Rio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqbr4Si87_o

For more information, contact Duke project co-directors John D. French or Courtney Crumpler: jdfrench@duke.edu and Courtney.crumpler@duke.edu.