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Sorry, New York. The Hip-Hop Thrill Has Gone South to Rio PDF Print E-mail
2012 - March 2012
Written by Marcel Malachowski   
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 00:52

Flora Matos If you were ambling along the Copacabana beach, in Rio, in recent months, you could hear it many a time: The melody of "Who is ready to jump" by Suriname-born Dutch DJ Chuckie. Finest funk, mixed with raw bass beats and staccato sounds and at the top of the Brazil dance charts.

The rough sound of hip-hop in a danceable version has arrived at the Hot Spot Rio, too. And it finally gets the sensualidade, which had been missing in New York City in recent years.

Because of its multi-cultural influences Rio seems to be downright predestinated to become the international metropolis town of NuHip-Hop at the Soccer World Cup, happening in 2014.

The Baile Funk, once started in the favelas under the statue of Christ, the Redeemer, has for a long time become a big hit all over the world. And there is more than  Madonna and the famous photographer David LaChapelle and Krumping-artists using Rio as backdrop for their videos.

Away from the great pop scene there has been happening a lot in the field of Brazil hip-hop. A few years ago, São Paulo was the home of these styles, but now new hip-hop acts have sprung up like mushrooms in Rio. Some of their songs are like caipirinha for the ears - energetic, staggering, erotic.

Emicida, with his musical experiments, is one of the most interesting artists - and one of the newest. His temperamental rhymes still keep the roots of the Funk Carioca and musically he reminds us of the US-old school-rap, which he makes exotic with ethnic finesse and bewitching rushing of the warm Atlantic Ocean.

Emicida, who likes to describe himself as an orixá, protected by nature deities like his forefathers in West Africa, muses about dim-dim (money), easygoing vagando (wandering), and chilling in the poor quebradas (hoods). But by doing this he does not become a Claquer of a dull gangsta-rap. His message is the message of a booming Brazil, not forgetting its youth.

And then we've got Flora Matos who radiates an elegant antidote against so much masculine nonchalance  - keeping in mind her Kollabo together with Emicida three years ago. She has been on tour through Europe already. She is the ageless mother of Brazil hip-hop.

As the daughter of musician Renato Matos, she has been popular in the scene for more than ten years already. At the age of 17 she started with rap-singing. She made her breakthrough into the mainstream by gaining the prize as the best female singer in 2006. Now she runs in heavy rotation also at MTV in Asia and Europe.

Rapper brasileira the soft way: Warm voice, smooth lyrics. Traditional samba meets European coolness of a sophisticated Brazil. Since Emicida sounds of the wild madness of Umbanda, Flora comes to terms with the stylish easy-going in Brasília, her hometown, or Santa Teresa and Gávea, in Rio.

For example, "Esperar o sol" (Waiting for the Sun) reminds of Italian kantetes of the Eighties, so Flora redefines the modern Brazil pop on her album "Pai de família" (the subtitle "Nova música" (New music) was no overstatement).

So it does no harm that she slips into saudade (longing) now and then: Home girl rules! The corredor da morte (death corridor) from the Favela clubs is complete: Vai dançar! (Go dancing!)

So the appearance of the feminine battle killah Flora Matos, as glamorous as athletic, becomes a role model for young Brazilian women, and it shows that God must be Brazilian.

Rio has always been more cosmopolitan than New York, but now Rio even has got the better hip-hop. All these facts make the hip-hop Rio-style outclass the old one from America. Only in France there is a comparative scene. Tudo acaba em hip-hop. (All Ends in hip-hop.)

Brazil's hip-Hop sensation Flora Matos singing Pretin

Marcel Malachowski is a German writer from Berlin much in tune with the Rio hip-hop scene.

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Comments (5)Add Comment
Rhymes and Reasons
written by Rhymes and Reasons, March 27, 2012
If you like hip-hop, you might like my blog, Rhymes and Reasons. It’s a series of interviews with hip-hop heads who discuss their lives and a few songs that matter to them. Pretty powerful stuff. Check’em out here:
.. bye bye illegal brazilians your getting deported with a hip hop cd
written by usa superpower, April 22, 2012
brazil can have hip-hop!!! americans surely don,t want it fact when we load up our airplanes with all the illegal brazilians in the usa for deportation, we will gladly send them back to brazil with a little wayne cd
written by Charles Scott, April 27, 2012
I just watched the video. The author of this article must have been high on his own supply when he wrote this crap. "Rio has better Hip Hop than New York", Really!. This music is crap.
Rio more cosmopolitan ??
written by Giovanni, May 30, 2012
I'm a European who lived in New York, and currently in Rio. I love it here, but I would NEVER state that Rio is more cosmopolitan than New York. Far Far away from it. Rio has nice beaches & nature, but that's it. It's restaurants, clubs, bars, shops, expositions,... all suck. And I know where I'm talking about. I love Brazilian music in it's many forms, but this one sucks...
Mister Malachowski...
written by Kamal Vincent Shaw, July 14, 2012
I am seriously trying not to get upset while I am writing this, but it is impossible for anyone with a modicum of good taste and common sense to point out THAT YOU CLEARLY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. It's writing like yours that reminds me that there are writing jobs out there for the taking, namely yours.

Rio de Janeiro is a great and beautiful city, but it is nowhere as cosmopolitan as New York City, let alone Sao Paulo. So please, don't go there. Second, you illegitimize yourself in your discussion of Hip-Hop. This video isn't Hip-Hop. Ask some people who live, breathe, and eat the culture to see if this song, this video, this artist--would be accepted by the wider Hip-Hop community.

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