San Francisco, California, USA – The Rough Guide To Brazilian
Hip-Hop (RGNET1141CD) presents some of the grittier sounds and funkier beats
from Brazil’s homegrown rappers. Arriving in Brazil with break-dancing and
graffiti, the hip-hop movement spread from the main centers of São Paulo and Rio
de Janeiro across Brazil, and the doors were opened to the national rap movement
in the late 1990s. Mixing rap with samba, soul, reggae, bossa nova, acid-jazz,
poetry and rock, the tracks featured on The Rough Guide To Brazilian Hip-Hop
are a sampling of the most innovative sounds of Brazil’s hip-hop generation.‘Sou Negrão’ is a Brazilian rap classic performed by Rappin’ Hood and Johnny
MC of PosseMente Zulu – one of the most important rap bands in Brazil. From the
São Paulo neighbourhood of Limão, Rappin’ Hood developed an interest in music
after learning to play coronet at school when he was 13. Shortly after this he
began composing his first rap lyrics and joined PosseMente Zulu in the 1990s.
Thaíde and DJ Hum met in São Paulo at the start of the 1980s, when Hum worked in
various clubs as a DJ, and Thaíde was a break-dancer. By the beginning of the
1990s they were recognized as one of the most important and serious names in the
São Paulo scene, regularly involved in social projects alongside promoting the
hip-hop movement in Brazil with classic tunes such as ‘Sr. Tempo Bom’.
Born and raised in Itaquera, a poor and violent neighborhood on the east side
of São Paulo, Xis started his solo career after forming the successful group DMN.
‘Us Mano E As Mina’ is from his first album and was a national success with the
video wining the Best Rap Clip 2000 on MTV. The principle exponent of the
manguebeat movement, Chico Science has participated in various bands that have
incorporated soul, funk and hip-hop. ‘Roda Rodete Rodiano’ is taken from an
unreleased session between him and producer and musician BiD. Mamelo Sound
System is not exactly a band, more of a production nucleus. Coming together for
the first time in 1998 they have worked with, among others, Amon Tobin, Rahzel
(of The Roots), Kid Koala and The Pharcyde.
Dexter and Afro-X created 509-E (their cell number in Carandiru prison) after
being imprisoned and condemned to ten years for armed assault. Both of them are
originally from Vila Calux, a violent area in São Bernardo Do Campo on the
outskirts of São Paulo, and ‘Saudades Mil’, from their debut album, takes the
format of a letter that Dexter is writing to a girlfriend. Sabotage was involved
in rap music for almost twenty years, although it was only in 2001 that his
talent was recognized. He began to rap around the time of 1981, started his
first band in the early 1990s and was shot dead in January 2003.
Weapons, prisons and violence, are the usual themes covered by local rap
music. However, some artists such as Somos Nós A Justiça (‘We Are The Law’) see
rap music as a means of discussing issues such as social inequality, race and
poverty. They were discovered by DJ Hum and have been performing since the
beginning of the 1990s in Jardin Fortaleza, Guarulhos, north of São Paulo.
Stereo Maracanã was created in 1999 by Pedro D-Lita and Maurício Pacheco, who
believe that through their musical repertoire they can inspire their listeners
to appreciate the day-to-day realities of people who are constantly struggling
for the basic rights of food, work, decent housing and healthcare.
Brazilian rap is often blended with other musical influences, such as samba,
reggae, soul, bossa nova and acid-jazz, to rich and heady results. Married at
the age of 12 and a mother by the age of 13,
Soares was born and raised in the favelas of Rio. A samba legend, in 1962
she represented Brazil in Chile during the soccer World Cup. In ‘Haiti’, a song
Caetano Veloso and
Gilberto Gil, Soares creates an energetic blend of rap and samba. Potencial
3 also unites samba with rap but they cover more aggressive themes. Formed by
Hébano, Núbio, James Lino and DJ Roger in 1994, ‘Tá Rimando’ is taken from their
second album. Personagens was a project assembled by Linox, Paulo Loureiro and
André Monteiro, to combine rhythm, poetry and MPB (Música Popular Brasileira –
‘Brazilian Popular Music’) and they have since performed in over 150 shows.
The Rough Guide To Brazilian Hip-Hop also features the reggae artist
Black Gero, MC Partideiro, Veiga & Salazar and the musician and producer André
Abujamra, and presents some exhilarating music from this contemporary and
exciting genre [Buy the CD].
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.