Rap das Armas
|"Rap das Armas"|
|Single by Cidinho & Doca|
|from the album Tropa de Elite Soundtrack|
|Format||Digital download, radio|
|Writer(s)||MC Doca, MC Cidinho
MC Júnior, MC Leonardo
"Rap das Armas" (English: Rap of Weapons) is a 1990s song originally written and performed by Brazilian duo Junior e Leonardo.
Cidinho & Doca (a Brazilian duo made up of MC Cidinho and MC Doca and known in Portuguese as Cidinho e Doca), made it an international hit in 2008 and 2009. The duo are two prominent proibidão rappers in Brazil, proibidão referring to songs which are prohibited airplay by order of the Brazilian courts due to alleged crime apology.
The song enjoyed a considerable amount of success in the mid-1990s. It resurfaced when it was used as the soundtrack of a popular Brazilian film, Elite Squad (Portuguese: Tropa de Elite), but was withdrawn two weeks after release.
The song is considered as part of the funk carioca movement that started with the release of the album Funk Brasil in 1989 produced by DJ Marlboro, a compilation which is considered the milestone of the funk movement. The movement was solidified with a string of albums and songs including the first-ever version of "Rap das Armas" written by siblings MC Júnior e Leonardo in 1992 and performed by them in 1994. The song started as a praise to Rio's beauties, but eventually became a protest on urban violence. Although the text called for peace and was against violence, it was still prohibited for mentioning names of a great number of weapons including Intratec (a semi-automatic pistol), .45 ACP, FMK, Uzi, 7.62×51mm NATO and 7.65×21mm Parabellum rifles, hand grenades, .44 Magnum, Beretta, Madsen (referred in the song as "android hunter") and automatic weapons. Leonardo said he picked the names of the weapons in his day job as a newsstand attendant. The refrain of the song was based on The Outfield's "Your Love," replacing the lyrics with the sound of a machine gun, imitated by the rendition "pa ra pa pa..."
Since at the time, Cidinho e Doca, were a popular duo who had released the song "Rap da felicidade," Júnior e Leonardo asked that Cidinho e Doca join in the refrain of the song. Soon afterwards, Cidinho e Doca released their own version of the song without Júnior e Leonardo. Cidinho e Doca also changed the names of some of the firearms used, adding AR-15, 12-gauge, 5.7×28mm pistols, Uru, Glock, AK-47, Winchester rifle, M16, .50 and .30 calibre weapons. MC Júnior and Leonardo criticized the new version, saying it went for the opposite message they were seeking, and the new version seemed to praise violence instead of criticizing it. Cidinho and Doca were not sued because that version "was not commercialized," due to its lack of recorded version and radio airplay.
2007: Soundtrack of Elite Squad
The 1990s song was reused with amended lyrics as soundtrack of Elite Squad, directed by José Padilha. The film soon became the highest-grossing film of 2007 in Brazil. The film version of the song as interpreted by Cidinho e Doca became very popular as a result.
The lyrics of the remixed version were modified in order to make it sound like a social protest, which was not the intention of the original 1990s version. The music was also inspired by kuduro, informally known as "funk carioca of Angola." The filmmakers still preferred using the version of Júnior e Leonardo.
The song vividly illustrates the daily invasion of favelas by the elite squad of the police in order to fight drug trafficking. Its lyrics reference the fireweapons popular among drug dealers and police officers.
Despite its popularity, "Rap das Armas" was never played on the Brazilian radio due to its controversial nature and it was abruptly removed from the Elite Squad soundtrack album two weeks after its release, because it allegedly praises drug consumption, and defends the drug dealers and criminal factions side in Rio de Janeiro's war on crime.
2008-2011: Rap das Armas Remixes
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European DJs made many remix versions of the song based on the Cidinho e Doca rendition rather than the original Júnior e Leonardo.
The first well known remix was in Portugal in 2008. Consequently, it became a huge hit in Portugal. This version appeared in many European countries and became a big hit almost everywhere.
Dutch DJ Quintino made his own version that reached the number-one spot in the Netherlands in February 2009, staying at the top of the chart for 2 weeks.
"Rap das Armas" was even a bigger hit in Sweden where it stayed at the top of the Swedish singles charts for a total of 4 weeks in the summer of 2009. The supporters of Stockholm football team Djurgårdens IF Fotboll like to sing the machine gun-like chorus during games.
In 2011 rapper Flo Rida released music with samples of this song. The recording was produced by DJ Frank E. It has not been confirmed whether the song will be a part of Flo Rida's new album Only One Rida (Part 2) or not.
The song has been subject to many versions, remixes and even parodies by various disc jockeys throughout Europe. Well-known versions include a dance version known as Lucana Club Mix, a remix by Rockstarzz featuring Antoine Montana and DJ Bo, "Parapapa" by DJ Jan and a parody by DJ Maurice and Boldheadz (entitled "Parapapaprika").
Also, a Greek singer called Giorgos Tsalikis has a free version of the song with the lyrics rewritten in Greek.
|Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)||30|
|Belgian Ultratip Chart (Wallonia)||23|
|Dutch Singles Chart||1|
|Finnish Singles Chart||12|
|French Singles Chart||25|
|Israeli Singles Chart||3|
|Swedish Singles Chart||1|
|Swiss Singles Chart||79|
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- Stamboroski, Amauri. "De James Brown ao 'Rap das armas', veja a linha do tempo do funk carioca" (Portuguese). G1, September 9, 2009
- Pop romântico inspira música-símbolo de "Tropa de Elite", (Portuguese) Folha de S. Paulo
- Versão pirata levou funkeiros a dar explicações à polícia civil, (Portuguese) Extra
- Góis, Ancelmo. A miséria do funk. (Portuguese) O Globo
- Yúdice, George. “The Funkification of Rio.” In Microphone Fiends, 193-220. London: Routledge, 1994.
- Abreu, Alexandre. O sucesso do filme “Tropa de Elite” na primeira divisão sueca (Portuguese). G1, September 10, 2009.
- Video on YouTube
- Rap das Armas position in various European charts
- "Media Forest: Airplay chart". mediaforest.biz.