Rapper MCK in the Banana Republic

Eight years ago, a brutal murder committed by members of President José Eduardo dos Santos’ praetorian guard served to bring an Angolan rapper known as MCK into the political limelight at the young age of 22. On November 26, 2003, soldiers from the Presidential Guard Unit (UGP) tied up and dragged a man called Arsénio Sebastião “Cherokee”, into the sea at Mussulo quay in Luanda. They drowned him, ignoring the pleas for mercy from the crowd gathered at the scene. What crime could Cherokee possibly have committed to deserve such a public, summary execution? The soldiers heard Cherokee humming “A Téknika, as Kausas e as Konsequências” (Techniques, Causes and Consequences), by MCK, which was a scathing criticism of the Dos Santos government. The guards killed Cherokee on the spot as a lesson to everyone. MCK’s album was an improvised, underground production, distributed by street vendors. Minivan drivers, who transport the […]

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