Posted in Africa, Angola, Artist Profiles

Ikonoklasta: Biography

Ikonoklasta, whose real name is Luaty Beirao, is an Angolan/Portuguese rapper. He rose to fame through underground hip hop movements, but gained much more traction after he chose to speak up against the more than 30-year-old dictatorship in Angola which fell at the hands of Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, and demanding the immediate overthrow of his government. In a piece conducted by Peter Wonacott for the wall street journal it is made fairly clear that Beirao’s remarks seemed to have fueled protesters who decided to make demonstrations in Angola’s capital. Beirao’s claims only accentuated the fact that there was a growing gap in between Angola’s rich and very poor citizens. As a result, Beirao teamed up with a group of political activists named The Revolutionary Youth. Together The Revolutionary Youth along with its supporters one of them being Beirao, the group began to organize the revolutionaries through social media.

As a result of his public activism and insistent need to speak up against Dos Santos, Beirao fell victim to what he claims to be fraudulent behavior on behalf of a corrupt Angolan government. In an interview conducted by Allison Swank on okayafrica.com, Beirao alleges to have been severely beaten by public officials on March of 2012. He was then detained at Lisbon’s airport and was then allegedly framed when cocaine was found in his possession. He was aloud to be free until the day of the trial.

As Swank delves deeper into the interview, she begins to question why Beirao had such a deep commitment to rap. He goes on to explain that he views as hip hop as an art form, which allows for the vocalist to deliver his or her very own criticisms of any which establishment. He goes on to explain that the admiration for rap music stands with the fact that  the art of rap was able to gain traction and public support without media-based support. And so he continues to use it as a weapon for social activism.

Wonacott, P. ( 2012, August 29). Protest Rappers Shake Things Up In Angola. [Video File].

Retrieved from: http://www.wsj.com/video/protest-rappers-shake-things-up-in-angola/3E089493-FA91-4843-9E30-D92A33069878.html

Swank, A. (2012, July 19). Why the Angolan Rapper Framed and Beat Rapper Ikonoklasta.

Retrieved from: http://www.okayafrica.com/stories/ikonoklasta-angola-framed-drug-smuggling/

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