Rap is a style of music that is part of the Hip-Hop movement, in Brazil it is more associated in favelas and peripheries, mainly found Rap in most of the Brazilian states. The style at one time was associated with criminality in Brazil, but over the years, it was identified as a strong style that associates protest in the form of music.
Emergence in the 1980s.
Before the Rap arrived in Brazil, some songs in the style had already been released. As possible first songs are “Melô do Tagarela” (1979) by Arnaud Rodrigues and Luís Carlos Miele (parody of Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight), “Black Commandments” (1977) and Gerson King’s ” Combo. Others like black Juniors JR Blow, point out that the Northeastern repentistas would be the precursors of the style in the country.
Rap came to Brazil in the late 1980s, with peripheral groups meeting in Galeria 24 de Maio and São Bento station in the subway of São Paulo, where the punk movement began to emerge. At this time, people did not accept rap because they considered this style of music to be violent and typically peripheral. The first to go to the venue were the breakdance dancers, the main type of hip hop dance.
Dancer Nelson Triunfo is considered one of the country’s first breakdance dancers. Among these b-boys, many ended up deciding to be rappers, as rap-singers are called. Dubbed “chatterboxes,” they had to move to Roosevelt Square because there was a split of groups for each to continue spreading a pillar of hip hop culture in each place. Shortly thereafter, the rappers became the main representatives of the movement in Brazil.
It was essential collaboration for the development of rap in the country the presentation of the popular American group Public Enemy in 1984. Through it rap was introduced to a large number of people and began to spread rapidly between the periphery of the large neighborhoods. In 1987, “Kátia Flávia” was released by the singer and carioca actor Fausto Fawcett, considered the first rap of the respective state. The first exclusive album of Brazilian rap that has news is the daring of the rap, released in 1987 by the team Kaskastas: In 1988 is released Hip Hop STREET CULTURE In it were presented artists like Thaíde and DJ Hum, MC Jack and Code 13. The highlight was Thaíde, who interpreted the classic verses: “My name is Thaíde / My body is closed and no body. Accept retaliation “. The bases of the disc were based on American funks and spontaneously accompanied of scratches made by the equipment of DJs.
In the same year, the second collection was released and projected one of the biggest groups in the history of Brazilian rap, Racionais MC’s. Conscience Black, Vol. I, brought together eight tracks, among them “Random Times” and “Racists Suckers” of Racionais. Formed by Mano Brown, Edy Rock, Ice Blue and KL Jay, the group presented to the media a rap focused on inequality in the periphery and social injustices with race and color of the members. Other compilations of the 1980s were Rap Dare, Kaskata’s Records, The Sound of Streets, Chic Show, Situation RAP by FAT Records. Most of these record companies came from people who organized black dances in the past years.
With the change in the politics of the capital of São Paulo, in August 1989 MH2O was created, an abbreviation for the Hip Hop Organized Movement in Brazil, which later became a nongovernmental organization and was present in four of the five regions of the country. This movement organized the hip hop culture, dividing into its main pillars and organizing the first cultural workshops. The MH2O can be considered as responsible for the new theme addressed in the raps, which were previously made based on any jokes and stories.
In 1990, Racionais MC’s released their debut work entitled Urban Holocaust, through the record label Zimbabwe Records. It was released in LP format and counted – in addition to the two songs from the previous collection – with “Panic in the South Zone”, “Hey Boy”, “Dead End Alley” and “Vulgar Women”. Racionais also released Pick Your Way in 1992 and X-Ray Brazil in 1993. The latter was considered the mark of the spread of rap in Brazilian music, making the Racionais attract more than 10,000 people per show. This fact made the group open a show of the American Public Enemy. The songs “Weekend in the Park” and “Man on the Road”, contained in X-Ray Brazil were the first of “alternative” rap to be performed on the radio. The following year, a compilation called Racionais MC’s was released by RDS Phonograph, bringing together the tracks from the three previous albums
In 1993, in Rio de Janeiro, MV Bill participated in the compilation Tiro Inicial, which was crucial for him to continue in the career of rapper. But his first album, Traficando Informação, would only come in 1999. With this album, MV Bill received the 2000 Hutúz Prize, in the album category of the year.
Also in Rio de Janeiro and in 1993, came the Planet Hemp, led by Marcelo D2 with a kind of rapcore, mixing elements of rap with reggae and rock. His first album, titled User,
Received a gold record for 140,000 copies sold. His theme was widely reprimanded by the authorities at the time, who censored the music video for “Legalize Já”, a clear apology for the use of marijuana. The narcotic was a recurring theme in the lyrics of Planet Hemp, which had a position totally favorable to its legalization and use, starting with the group’s own name.
At the same time, Gabriel the Thinker appeared with the demo “Tô Feliz (I killed the President)”, which was censored five days after the launch. Despite this, soon after the rapper signed with Sony Music and released his first album of the same name, which reached great success in the mainstream with songs like “Lôrabúrra”, “Portrait of a Playboy” and “175 Nothing Special”, the last one Owned a videoclipe linked in the television with the participation of diverse personalities, like soccer player Ronaldo.
Also in that year in São Paulo, the Central Faction, the main name of Brazilian gangsta rap, released the debut album Family Faction followed by Juventude de Attitude, 1995. With a much heavier theme than most of the scene’s rap groups São Paulo, the Central Faction deals with the whole of its discography on violence, crime, poverty and police repression in the favelas of São Paulo. The album Bloody Verses 1999 was one of the most controversial. Eduardo’s strong compositions combined with the video clip of “This is a War” linked to MTV, had their recordings confiscated by the Special Action Group on Organized Crime Repression, and its exhibition was banned by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which opened a lawsuit against Members. This fact ended up bringing even more popularity to the group and its main theme, which today is considered one of the biggest names in Rap Nacional.
In addition to these cases, rap has already been the focus of several other polemics because of compositions, as in 1992, the rapcore group Pavilion 9 caused controversy with the release of debut album First Act. A song titled “Stupid Uniforms” caused the members to be the target of anonymous telephone threats.
The Cruel Reality of the interior of São Paulo is another important name in the São Paulo hip hop scene. Its first album, Só Sangue Bom, was released in 1999, with an aggressive theme similar to the Central Faction. Several other São Paulo groups of great importance for rap nacional appeared in the 1990s, including Face of Death, Detentes do Rap and Sistema Negro.
In this decade also emerged the hip hop scene in the Metropolitan Region of Brasilia, highlighting the bands with the label of Discovery Record: Moral Surgery, Black Exchange, Penal Code, among others.
In 1997, Racionais MC’s released the album Sobrevivendo no Inferno, considered the definitive work of the band with their greatest hits contained, was elected by Rolling Stone as the fourteenth best Brazilian album of all time and sold more than 1,500,000 copies, being Only 200,000 in the month of release. Hits such as “Chapter 4, Verse 3” and “Diary of a Detent” appeared on MTV with live performance on VMB and video clip linked in programming respectively.
In 2000 Road of collision launches his Single by the 4P Discos and the music Ideas of periphery …. 2002 the rapper Sabotage coming from the South Zone of São Paulo released his debut album Rap é Compromisso by the label Cosa Nostra. His promising career would come to an end as early as January 2003, when he was murdered
In 2002 Tambem Campo Minado launches the CD Playing with the Enemy and the PM of São Paulo removes the music of the schedules of the Radios.
In 2003, Marcelo D2 released his second album The Search for the Perfect Beat, which quickly became a hit with audiences and led him to make acoustic versions of his songs for MTV.
Quinto Andar was a group from Niteroi, in Rio de Janeiro formed in 1999 and dissolved in 2005. He released in 2005 his only album, Piratão. In addition to being responsible for releasing many of today’s greats like Shawlin, Kamau, De Leve and Marechal, the album was responsible for the development of a new line of hip hop production in Brazil, with its irreverent criticisms of the power of the music industry on Music artists, his Do-It-Yourself production mode, and the very sonority of songs, which added current elements of electronic music little used by hip hop producers in Brazil until then. In the same year, the group competed for Hutúz Award – the most important of Brazilian rap – in the category Revelation, but ended up losing to Sabotage. In 2005, the group partnered with the magazine OtraCoisa, from Lobão, and released their only album, Piratão, with emphasis on the tracks “Rap do Calote” and “Melô do Piratão”. After the release they dissolved for contradictory reasons. Some say it was because the Marechal, De Leve rappers preferred to pursue solo careers; Others that was the DJ Castro, and others Shawlin.
In 2007 the ConeCrewDirection with the mixtape Ataque Lírico emerged in Rio de Janeiro. With a theme similar to Planet Hemp, the group later enjoyed significant success at the end of the decade, showing itself to be one of the most well-known groups in the Carioca scene in the period, a title that divides with the East.
Current Era: Peak Of The São Paulo Scene.
Emicida and other other MCs from the São Paulo scene like Projota or Rashid contributed to renewing Brazilian hip hop, with different styles and new hits.
Consolidated and respected artists like Racionais MC’s, MV Bill, GOG follow in this time their artistic race. On the other hand, the carioca Marcelo D2, with his mixture of hip hop samba, obtained international relevance, working in several countries of Europe, in the United States and being interviewed by the Spanish newspaper El País.
In the final years of the decade of the 2000s, a new scene from São Paulo appeared that contributed to renew Brazilian hip hop in all areas. With agile style and more varied lyrics (not only about crime and living conditions in suburbs and shantytowns) but maintaining the underground spirit and social conscience, artists linked to “Phantom Lab” like Emicida, Rashid, Projota, Criolo Doido or Kamau Are the most outstanding names of this new generation from São Paulo. Some of these artists, such as Emicida, began their artistic career in MC’s battles. Emicida’s participation in the Jô Program evidenced the fact that Brazilian rap has gained an important place in the Brazilian media and society, present several times in the trending topic worldwide on Twitter.
In Brazil there are several styles derived from rap. The ones that deal with the most peripheral and the way of life, the system, the police, and the most popular are Racionais MC’s, MV Bill, ConeCrewDiretoria and GOG. Central Faction is part of a more forceful strand, also called gangsta rap and is, along with the groups above, one of the most popular. Other bands of the same style are Human Consciousness, Black System, Face of Death, Cruel Reality and Moral Surgery. All rappers and all bands, with rare exceptions, have little space in the Brazilian media, with some exceptions like MV Bill, Projota, Emicida and most recently Racionais MC’s.
There is also popular rap, singing for mostly black Carioca musicians, with examples of Marcelo D2 and Gabriel, The Thinker, Agatha Sinsera, in raps that approach different themes.