This article investigates the blurry intersection between the state and civil society in the fields of popular education and citizenship. In Brazil most performers of hip hop (rappers, DJs, graffiti artists, and street dancers) make their living as educators remunerated by state agencies and NGOs. The significance of such labor can be understood in terms of a historical relationship between agents of popular culture and the state regarding the parameters of citizenship. From the pragmatic perspective of most hip hoppers, their employment status is part of a long-standing objective to make hip hop more visible and "take over" more public space. To this end, the following text examines events in the CEU (United Educational Centers) and the Hip Hop House as differentiated examples of hip hop pedagogy.