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Too hot to handle

Too hot to handle

The Brazilian Justice has banned a song calling it
gratuitously violent. For some observers this is a
dangerous precedent and Carlos Cardoso, the São Paulo prosecutor
who took the case, says he doesn’t feel comfortable about the ban.
By Elma Lia Nascimento

Not since the military regime that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985 had a song been
censored and taken off the air by the Justice Department. Not even when Gabriel o Pensador
released the song "Estou Feliz, Matei o Presidente" (I’m Happy, I’ve Killed the
President) in 1992 was there such an action. But now the rap group Facção Central earned
the distinction of having their song and respective video clip banned from airtime. MTV
Brazil showed the clip "Isso Aqui É uma Guerra" (What we Have Here Is War)
about half a dozen times before being forced to take it off the air.

Facção Central is not a big name on the rap scene. In ten years, they have recorded
only three CDs with songs that always tell the same story: violence in the slums and
streets of Brazil. That’s a subject they know very well. The band’s members—Eduardo,
24, Dum-Dum, 30 and Erick, 24— are all from Grajaú, a poor violent neighborhood in
the southeastern zone of São Paulo.

The ban started when some MTV viewers called Rio’s daily newspaper O Globo to
complain about the level of violence shown in the clip directed by Dino Dragone. Dragone
also has made videos for Los Hermanos and Charles Brown, Jr. Some viewers seem to have
been affected by realistic scenes in the "Isso Aqui É uma Guerra" clip, which
include depictions of a bank robbery and the murder of two people.

Carlos Cardoso, the São Paulo prosecutor who took the case, says he doesn’t feel
comfortable about the task. "This is a delicate case," he said. "We don’t
have any knowledge of a music or video clip being forbidden for this reason. I confess
that I felt troubled, afraid that my actions would be interpreted as censorship. But the
clip is too violent, different from anything I have seen."

To which Fábio Macari, the band’s producer, retorts: "There are thousands of
films, clips, video games and many other products that display excessive violence, but
when a poor rap group from the suburbs exposes the problem, it gets punished with
censorship, prohibition. I’d like to see them prohibit million dollar productions."

Eduardo, the lyrics’ author, concurs: "I have nothing to eat, no electricity,
nothing worthwhile going on. I’m abandoned, but I’ve never started a life of crime. Am I
going to start being a criminal now, do some stupidity only because I saw a clip from this
video?"

Isto aqui é uma guerra

Isso aqui é uma guerra
Onde só sobrevive quem atira
Quem enquadra mansão, quem trafica
Infelizmente o livro não resolve
O Brasil só me respeita com um revólver, aí,
O juiz ajoelha, o executivo chora
Para não sentir o calibre da pistola.
Eu quero roupa, comida,
alguém tem que sangrar
Vou enquadrar uma burguesa e
atirar pra matar
Vou fumar os seus bens
E ficar bem louco
Seqüestrar alguém no caixa eletrônico
A minha quinta-série só adianta
Se eu tiver um refém com um
cano na garganta.
Aí não tem gambé pra negociar

(Voz de policial: "Liberta a vítima,
vamos conversar!")

Vai se ferrar, é hora de me vingar
A fome virou ódio e alguém
tem que chorar
Não queria a cela nem o seu dinheiro
Nem boi torturado no cativeiro
Não queria o futuro com conforto
Mas 357 é o que o Brasil me dá
Sem emprego quando o prego
de Audi passar
Aperte o "enter", cuzão, me digita…
e faz a conta, agiliza, não grita
Não tem Deus nem milagre
Esquece o crucifixo
É só uma vadia chorando pelo marido
É o cofre versus a escola sem
professor
Se for pra ser mendigo, doutor
Eu prefiro uma Glock com silenciador
Comer seu lixo não é comigo, morô!
Desce do carro senão tá morto
Essa é a lei daqui, a lei do demônio
ISSO AQUI É UMA GUERRA!

Não chora vadia que eu não tenho dó
Na força, na moral, não existe B.O.
Aqui é outro brasileiro transformado
em monstro
Semi-analfabeto, armado e perigoso
Querendo sua corrente de ouro
Atacando o seu pulso atacando o seu bolso
Pronto pra atirar e pronto pra matar
Vai se foder!
Descarrega essa PT
Mata o filho do boy como o Brasil quer ver
Esfrega na cara sua panela vazia
Exige o seu direito com o sangue da vadia
É a lei da natureza, quem tem fome mata
Na selva é o animal, na rua é o
empresário inconseqüente
`tamo doente, o Brasil estimula
a atirar no gerente.
Aqui não é novela
Não tem amor na tela
A cena existe é solidão na cela.
Nem polícia pega boi
Deita escrivão, abre a cela carcereiro,
liberta o ladrão…

Seu oitão é uma piada, gambé covarde
Cala a boca e aplaude o resgate
Cala a boca e aplaude
o resgate, ré, ré!
Vai e te protege, sua polícia
no chão,
oitão na cabeça no DP sem defesa
Reza pro ladrão resolver ter pena,
que pena!
Seu herói pede socorro nessa cena.
Quer seu filho indo pra escola
e não
voltando morto?
Então mete a mão no cofre e ajuda
nosso povo
Ou veja sua mulher, agonizando até morrer
porque alguém precisa comer
ISSO AQUI É UMA GUERRA!

What we have here is a war

What we have here is a war
In which only those who shoot will survive
He who robs mansions, he who deals drugs
Unfortunately the law is useless
Brazil only respects me with a gun, then
The judge kneels, the executive cries
So he won’t feel the pistol’s caliber
I want clothes, food,
someone has to bleed
I’m gonna aim at a bourgeoisie and
shoot to kill
I’m gonna smoke his goods
And get very high
Kidnap someone at the automatic teller
My 5th grade is only good
If I get a hostage with
a gun at his throat
Then there is no cop to make a deal

(Policeman voice: "Free the victim,
let’s talk!")

You gonna have it, it’s time for my revenge
Hunger becomes rage and someone
will have to cry
I didn’t want the cell or your money
Nor an ox tortured in captivity
I didn’t want the future with comfort
But a .357 Magnum is what Brazil gives me
Unemployed while the idiot
in the Audi passes by
Press "enter", asshole, type it…
and calculate, make it fast, don’t scream
There’s neither God nor miracle
Forget the crucifix
It’s only a whore crying for her husband
It’s the safe versus the school without
a teacher
If I have to be a beggar, doctor
I’d rather have a Glock with a silencer
To eat your trash is not my thing, dig it?
Step out of the car or you are dead
This is the law here, the devil’s law
WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A WAR!

Don’t cry, bitch, because I’ve no pity
In force, in moral, there is no police report
Here we have another Brazilian transformed
into a monster
Semi-illiterate, armed and dangerous
Wanting your golden chair
Attacking your pulse, attacking your pocket
Ready to shoot and ready to kill
He’s gonna get fucked!
Unload this rod
Kill the boy’s son as Brazil wants to see
Rub in his face your empty pan
Demand your right with the whore’s blood
That’s nature’s law, whoever is hungry kills
In the jungle is the animal, in the street is
the inconsequent businessman
We’re sick, Brazil induces
to shoot the manager
This is no soap opera
There’s no love on the screen
The scene exists, it’s loneliness in the cell
Not even the police can handle this
Lie down, clerk; open the cell, warden;
free the robber…

Your 38 cal is a joke, coward cop
Shut your mouth and applaud the ransom
Shut your mouth and applaud
the ransom, ha, ha!
Go and protect yourself, your police
on the floor,
big 38 in the head of the defenseless chief
Pray for the robber to decide to have pity,
what a pity!
You hero begs for help in this scene.
Do you want your son going to school
and not
returning dead?
Then get your hands on the safe and
help our people
Or watch your wife, agonizing until death
because someone needs to eat
WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A WAR!

 

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