Brazilian hip hop
Brazilian hip hop is one of the world's major hip hop scenes, with active rap, break dance, and graffiti scenes, especially in São Paulo, where groups tend to have a more international style, influenced by gangsta rap.
Brazilian hip hop has its origins in the favela parties of the late 1970s where American funk and hip hop was played. By the early 1980s the nascent Brazilian hip hop movement was centered around the city of São Paulo especially São Bento Square, Galleria 24 de Maio Street and the Teatro municipal where break dancers and rappers congregated to exchange ideas and information. By the early 1990s the popularity of the genre led to the publication of the first Brazilian hip hop magazine called Pode Crê! (Can You Believe It!). Racionais MC's (Mano Brown, Ice Blue, Edy Rock and DJ KL Jay) from São Paulo were amongst the earliest Brazilian hip hop groups to make an impact with their music which criticized the city's unequal wealth distribution, the lack of opportunity given to children growing up in the favelas, São Paulo's state government as well as promoting an anti-drugs agenda. Brazilian favelas are frequently referenced in Brazilian funk and hip hop songs which are used as a forum for expressing dissatisfaction with a wide range of local, regional and national political policies. Groups such as Cambio Negro and Chico Science adhere to a musical style known as rap consciencia (socially conscious rap). In the mid-1990s, Brazilian hip hop and funk were presented in the mainstream media negatively with claims of links to drug dealing in Rio de Janeiro. Reports by the press claimed that both styles of Brazilian music was being funded by local favela groups who controlled the supply of drugs within the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Part of the speculation originated from a famous rap song of the early 1990s entitled "Rap do Borel" by Brazilian favela musicians William Santos de Souza and Duda. Borel, a favela in the neighborhood of Tijuca, was the theme of the rap lyrics by Souza in which he asks for brotherhood and goodwill between the favela residents of Borel as well as praising other favelas. This is turn led to the claim that the subsidized funk parties organized by the Brazilian politico-crime group Comando Vermelho (Red Command), who controlled the Borel favela as well as other favelas, were events where young Brazilians were recruited for drug dealing. Since established commercial radio stations and publishing houses have shown minimal interest in the music and poetry that new hip hop artists are producing, or want to impose contract terms that are too stringent, rappers have developed their own channels to distribute their work. These range from selling their discs and books on the streets and also at their shows as well as having their hip hop releases played on a network of low-power but linked community radio stations.
Brazilian rap has served as a reflection of the political, social and racial issues affecting the disenfranchised youth in the suburbs of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The lyrical content, band names and song names used by Brazilian hip hop artists are often related to the socio-political issues affecting their communities. For instance, Racionais MC's are "unanimously regarded as the voice of the suburbs", with songs such as "Pânico na Zona Sul" (Panic on the South Side) and "Tempos Difíceis" (Hard Times). Rapper Gabriel o Pensador titled one of his songs "Tô Feliz, Matei o Presidente" (I'm Glad, I've Killed the President), which addresses former president Fernando Collor's corruption-related impeachment.
Additionally, police brutality against poor black youth in Rio and São Paulo is also a salient issue incorporated into Brazilian rap. According to George Yudice, "in 1991 in São Paulo alone, the military police killed 876 street youth." Impoverished Brazilian youth use hip hop as a voice to speak out against the high rate of murder and violence committed by the authorities against young people. Pavilhão 9, a live hip hop group, are named after the section inside the Carandiru jail where an estimated 100 convicts were murdered by the police who had been sent in to restore order after violence had broken out.
In major cities like Rio de Janeiro and Recife, hip hop is sometimes fused with other forms of Brazilian music. In Recife a fusion of the regional folk music maracatu and coco with hardcore punk rock and hip hop led to the creation of the manguebeat genre in the early 1990s. In Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city in Brazil, the success of the rapper MV Bill (real name Alex Pereira Barbosa) in the late 1990s helped to give further impetus to the city's hip hop scene. Brazilian funk was considered somewhat naive until its sudden "rediscovery", following the international fad towards the "exotic" style.
Brazilian hip hop and its relationship to the favela was the subject of a documentary entitled Favela Rising. The documentary details the efforts of the AfroReggae movement which was formed in 1993 by Anderson Sa and DJ Jose Junior with the express purpose of providing a cultural outlet for young people as an alternative to the favela gang culture through a series of non-profit schemes involving music and dance. AfroReggae are also a musical group that fuses traditional Brazilian dance music with hip hop and reggae.
There are also artists of Brazilian heritage active in other countries, such as the UK grime MC Aggro, who burst onto the scene in 2006 with his hit song "Free Yard". The Australian hip hop scene also harbors a group called Terrafirma (Raph A.L. and Simplex the Brazilian born MC/producer) who have been active in the underground scene and later on the charts since its establishment in 1995. they are also members of the Adelaide super crew, Certified Wise.
During the period 1985–1995, many Brazilian black pop musicians were quite active in the local adaptation of African-American musical trends such as funk and rap. While rock music in Brazil has been associated predominantly with the white middle class, funk and rap are heavily supported in big cities by people (and especially teenagers) of the lower socioeconomic class, primarily blacks. Funk musicians have frequently commented in their songs about the race relations in Brazil and have expressed black pride openly. Radical types of funk and rap meanwhile have been used mostly for sociopolitical messages about local, regional, or national issues. Brazilian rap, at least as it has developed in poor neighborhoods, tends to be highly politicized and scornful of lyrics that boast about wealth or sexual conquests. The funk movement in Brazil is unabashedly about celebrating sex, bling and violence. The rap scene in Brazil is a way for artists to express their political oppression, while funk music relates more to the part of American hip hop scene of drugs, sex, and violence.
Hip Hop in Brasília (Capital of Brazil) 
Hip Hop has been present in the “brasiliense” social and musical scene since the late 1980s. It is arguably the second biggest hip hop scene in Brazil. The first generation of rappers included GOG and DJ Jamaika. The second generation initiated with MC RAPadura in the 1990s. Currently, the most successful female rapper from Brasília is Flora Matos. Furthermore, the current generation, from the year 2000 on, has many groups and MCs who are releasing their work and making new events to expand the scene in the capital of Brazil.
First Generation 
This section talks about two of the pioneers of the first generation of rappers in Brasília. DJ Jamaika is one the main pioneers responsible for elevating and spreading the hip hop scene in the Distrito Federal area since 1993. He has participated in various radio and TV programs, such as “Transaméric”. He is a rapper from Ceilândia; a satellite city around Brasília. He had a hip hop group called Alibi in 1999. He also initiated the group Câmbio Negro in 1990. One of his best known albums is Pá Doido Pirá which is also used as an important reference in Brazilian hip hop. DJ Jamaika has also released a series of gospel rap albums with his latest release being Fé em Deus (Faith In God) in 2012. In 2007, he won the “Prêmio Hutúz” national Brazilian award for best beat maker. GOG is another pioneer of the hip hop culture in Brasília. He was born in Sobradinho, satellite city around Brasília, and moved to Guará, satellite city around Brasília, in 1973, where he resided until 1991. He is a rapper and began his career as a poet. His first CD was recorded in 1992 with the title “Peso Pesado” (Heavy Weight). In 2007, he won the Prêmio Hútuz award for best artist. His most recent work is “DVD Cartão Postal Bomba!”, released in 2009.
Second Generation 
MC RAPadura Xique-Chico was born in Fortaleza and came to Brasília in 1997. He demonstrated interest in hip hop music when he participated in GOG’s song “A quem possa interessar” on the Aviso às gerações album. MC RAPadura has participated in several repente contests (these are contestants in which people improvise with music from Brazil’s northeast region), on account of his original and innovative style, which is utilizing Brazilian “forró” music and mixing it with his self produced hip hop beats. In 2010, RAPadura performed in a TV Cultura episode of Manos e Minas with MV Bill and is well known for performing with a farmer straw hat which was created in Fortaleza.
Female Rappers 
The rapper Flora Matos first performed on stage with her father's band Acarajazz when she was 4 years old. In 2003 Matos performed her first shows with DJ Chicco Aquino. Her influences are Racionais MC's, Dina Di, Sabotage, Kamau and MC Marechal. In 2006, she started to sing with DJ Brother, which earned her the award for the best singer of the year in Brasília. In 2007 she recorded a new version of the song “Véu da Noite” by singer Céu; the remix was produced by DJ and beatmaker KL Jay from Racionais MC's. In 2008, she was invited by KL Jay and Ice Blue to participate in the mixtape “O Jogo é Hoje”, supported by Nike and directed by Blue and Mano Brown, where she recorded the song “Mundo Pequeno". In October 2008, she toured Europe including the French cities of Angers and Paris. When she returned, she released her first single called “Jogo da Velha.” One year later, she performed with Emicida and in the end of the year she released her first mixtape called Flora Matos vs Stereodubs. In 2010 she appeared onstage at the Coletivo Noções Unidasat (Collective Notions Nations) concert.
Current Generation 
Various events were created in Brasília to enhance the hip hop culture, from the DaBomb parties to the 2010 battles called "Calango Pensante". Calango Pensante was created by MC Ahoto (Jorge Pinho) to motivate the various MCs to battle in Conic (a mall located in the center of Brasília). There are prizes for the runner up and winner of the battle, such as the sum of the money given by each competing MC in the beginning of the event or concert tickets to a Brazilian hip hop show. MC Ahoto also created other events such as "I love Rap DF", which is an event where the hip hop groups can perform and promote their work. His first hit was the song “Fogo na Bomba” which was produced by Emtee (of Movimento Plano Crew – MPC). The song is basically about Graffiti art and tagging in general, bombing, since MC Ahoto is also an active graffiti artist. In fact, MC Ahoto started out as a graffiti artist. He has a tagging crew called “Kaligrafia Mardita” and was nominated in the Graffiti best prize category in 2011 (Prêmio Hip Hop Zumbi – Edição Dandara). Currently, he is one of the main representatives of Samambaia (neighborhood from Brasília) and has had several collaborations with other MCs, three of the most famous are: “Flowgados” (inactive), the group “Movimento Plano Crew”, and “Coletivação.” MC Ahoto won the 2010 “Microfonia” event, an MC Battle which happened in Brasília and which gave MC Ahoto the opportunity to travel to Rio de Janeiro and participate in the national Brazilian Battle: "Liga dos MCs". He also won the award for best Brasiliense MC of 2011. Prêmio Hip Hop Zumbi was an event created in 2010 by ArtSam to make the hip hop culture in Brasília even more powerful. This event recognizes and values the many local talents of the DF state, which just happens to be the second biggest hip hop scene in Brazil. It also makes the scene more professional, with political and popular participation, thus making social activism known. The name chosen illustrates well this main objective, refreshing the memory of the Brazilian people to the slave who was the leader of the biggest “quilombo” (a clan of refugee slaves) from Brazil, Zumbi.
There were awards for the Distrito Federal (DF) Hip Hop projects released between July 2009 and October 2010.
Popular Culture 
In the TV series Cidade dos Homens (City of Men) we follow the lives of two best friends who struggle everyday to survive life in the favela and still manage to keep a smile on their faces. One of the mediums used to alleviate stress is hip hop, although, since most of the episodes occur in Rio de Janeiro their music might be more attributed to Funk Carioca. Nonetheless, it is the hip hop mind set and the idea of a "cypha" (a circle of MC's that spit together and maintain a particular tempo without stopping) that is ever incarnate in the youth of Brazil. This is particularly apparent in the episode "Sábado" (Saturday). While the young men are re-telling the crazy and, consequently, exaggerated stories of their crazy night, they form a cypha and begin to rhyme. When one of the supporting characters by the name of Alex, breaks the cypha because he gets offbeat, he is rewarded by a barrage of boos. Cidade dos Homens further accentuates the universality of hip hop in the character of Larinjhia, who is the other protagonist of the show. When he finds himself feeling trapped by society and by his social status he turns to hip hop as an escape. Much like the real life documentary of Favela Rising, we see Laranjinha using hip hop as a way out of gang violence and into positivity and activism. The show also features Brazilian hip hop stars such as Xis and Thaide. The songs written by Laranjhia and hip hop stars shown in the series are often based on the rough lives they faced in the favela, just like many MC's in the United States base most of their material retelling stories of the places where they grew up. Another episode from the TV series Cidade dos Homens called "Hip Samba Hop" has our two protagonists, Laranjinha and Acerola, visiting the city of São Paulo where they discover and join in the vibrant hip hop scene.
Derek Pardue in his article Hip Hop as Pedagogy examines the concepts of "periferia" (periphery) and "marginalidade" (marginality) in relation to hip hop identity as well as hip hop's potential pedagogical value. Pardue proposes that the common perception of hip hop as a US cultural entertainment phenomena reflecting exclusive themes of urban gang membership and masculinity may be discarded for a more realistic assessment of its educational benefits especially with regards to the young people of the favelas. Pardue cites the expansion of CEUs (Unified Educational Centers) into favelas and the employment of hip hop "educationalists" as examples of educational models that build upon earlier social and communal actions initiated (sometimes without state sponsorship) by those from rural Brazil that settled on the outskirts of the major Brazilian cities. Pardue highlights that though mainstream Brazilian culture originally viewed these settlements in a negative way in recent times many hip hop artists and residents from the favelas have formed educational NGOs as well as participating in state sponsored schemes designed not only to improve the lives of those who are economically marginalized but also with a view of promoting hip hop as a positive contribution to citizenship within wider society. Pardue points out that hip hop "educationalists" realize the importance of hip hop and its role in the lives of the young people of the favelas and that its pedagogical value serves to benefit not only those on the periphery but also the wider aims of state education.
- A Família
- Ao Cubo
- Black Alien & Speed
- Bonde da Stronda
- Criolo (formerly known as Criolo Doido)
- Dina Di
- Jay Nano
- Prexeca Bangers
- Facção Central
- Flora Matos
- Gabriel, O Pensador
- Lords Of the South
- Marcelo D2
- Mc Ahoto
- Movimento Plano Crew
- Mr. Gângster
- MV Bill
- Nitro Di
- Nocivo Shomon
- Planet Hemp
- KL Jay
- Projeto Ladislau
- Racionais MC's
- RZO – Rapaziada da Zona Oeste (Guys from West Zone)
- Rhossi (Pavilhao 9)
- Clã Nordestino
- Z'Africa Brasil
- Black Alien
- Thaide and Dj Hum
- Faccão Central
- Dj Jamaica
Notable songs 
- "Profissão MC'" - Marcelo D2
- "Desabafo" – Marcelo D2
- "Minha Voz, Minha Vida" – Bonde da Stronda
- "Mansão Thug Stronda" – Bonde da Stronda
- "Perdão, pela minha Vida louca" – Bonde da Stronda
- "Desculpa mãe" - Facção Central
- "Eu não pedi pra nascer" - Facção Central
- "Negro drama" - Racionais MC's
- "Fim de semana no parque" – Racionais MC's
- "Vida loka - parte 2" – Racionais MC's
- "Rua Augusta" – Emicida
- "Projeçao" – Projota
- "Um bom lugar" - Sabotage
- "Respeito é pra quem tem" – Sabotage
- "Feito no Brasil" – Face da Morte
- São Paulo, le rap de la saturation. Directed by Yves Billon.
- Favela Rising. Directed by Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary.
- Estilo Hip Hop. Directed by Loira Limbal and Vee Bravo
- 13 Brazilian Rap Artists Who Made History - MTV article with videos Published: no date given. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
- Brazilian Hip Hop History by Jaqueline Lima Santos Hip Hop Archive Website. Published 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- Pode Crê! - First Brazilian Hip Hop Magazine Hip Hop Archive Website. Published 3 April 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (24 January 1998). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 94–. ISSN 00062510. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
- Brazilian Government Invests in Culture of Hip Hop - New York Times Newspaper (US) Article by Larry Rohter. Published 14 March 2007.
- Behague,Gerard. "Rap, Reggae, Rock, or Samba: The Local and the Global in Brazilian Popular Music (1985–95)." Latin American Music Review 27, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2006): 79–90.
- Behague, Gerard. "Rap, Reggae, Rock, or Samba: The Local and the Global in Brazilian Popular Music (1985–95)." Latin American Music Review 27, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2006): 79–90.
- Gabriel o Pensador - Article by Bruce Gilman Brazzil Magazine. Published April 1996. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- Yúdice, George. "The Funkification of Rio." In Microphone Fiends, 193–220. London: Routledge, 1994.
- Favela Rising - Interview with co-director Jeff Zimbalist New England Film Website. Interviewer: David Tames. Published 01 September 2005. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
- Forbidden Funk of the Favelas - Guardian Newspaper (UK) Article by Robin Denselow. Published 23 November 2007. Retrieved 16 May 2013
- GOG (info). http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cart%C3%A3o_Postal_Bomba!
- DJ Jamaika (info). http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dj_jamaika
- Câmbio Negro (info). http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%A2mbio_Negro
- Hutúz 10 anos(info). http://www.hutuz.com.br/10anos/in.php?id=ganhadores
- Prêmio Hutúz (info). Prêmio Hutúz, November 23, 2007. http://www.radio105fm.com.br/noticias/?id=64
- RAPadura(info). http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapadura
- Cultura Hip Hop (Info). http://culturahiphop.uol.com.br/lancamentos/30/rapper-rapadura-lanca-disco-intitulado-fita-embolada-do-engenho
- Noticiário Periférico(Info).http://www.noticiario-periferico.com/2009/11/rapadura-lanca-o-primeiro-single-da.html
- Repente (info). http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repente
- TV Cultura (info). http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tv_cultura
- Manos e Minas (Info). Programa Manos e Minas, October 10, 2008. "MV Bill"
- Flora Matos (info). November 12, 2009. http://www.rapnacional.com.br/2010/index.php/entrevistas/flora-matos/
- Flora Matos (info). May 17, 2010. http://www.amusicoteca.com.br/?p=933
- Racionais MC's(info). http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/Musica/0,,MUL174771-7085,00.html
- Dina Di (info). http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dina_Di
- Sabotage (info). http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabotage_(cantor)
- Kamau (info). http://mtv.uol.com.br/blogdovmb/blog/vmb-2009-kamau-concorre-%C3%A0-categoria-rap-e-faz-show-neste-fim-de-semana-veja-entrevista
- MC Marechal (info). http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/MC_Marechal
- KL Jay (info). http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kl_jay
- Ice Blue (info). http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_blue
- Mano Brown (info). http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mano_brown
- Flora Matos e Emicida(info).http://multishow.globo.com/Experimente/Episodios/Flora-Matos-e-Emicida.shtml
- Colectivo Nocoes Unidas Concert - Flora Matos Acha Brasilia Website. Published 29 June 2010. Accessed 21 May 2013.
- Calango Pensante (info). http://brasilia.deboa.com/assunto/calango-pensante
- MC Ahoto (info). March 16, 2010. http://www.noticiario-periferico.com/2010/03/mc-ahoto-fogo-na-bomba.html
- Conic (info). http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conic
- I love RAP DF (info). http://barulhocultural.com.br/love-rap-df/
- Premio Hip Hop Zumbi (info). http://premiohiphopzumbi.blogspot.com/
- Prêmio Hip Hop Zumbi (info). http://culturahiphop.uol.com.br/noticia/580/saiba-como-foi-o-premio-hip-hop-zumbi
- Quilombo (info). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quilombo
- Zumbi(info). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zumbi dos Palmares.
- Hip Hop as Pedagogy: A Look into "Heaven" and "Soul" in São Paulo, Brazil Author: Derek Pardue (Washington University, St. Louis). Publication: Anthropological Quarterly Vol.80 (2007). Retrieved 16 May 2013
- Favela Rising - Film/Documentary by Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary
- Favela mural project by Haas & Hahn Firmeza Foundation (Netherlands)
- AfroReggae Official Site (in Portuguese)