Hip-hop traveled from the boogie-down Bronx to the black, brown, and beige country of Brazil, where the same themes of violence, Afrocentric pride, and ghetto life are the syncopated soundtracks for millions of poor favela dwellers. This compilation features rappers and turntable specialists from Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro who stay true to game and flip the script with their extensions and experiments with the genre. Possemente Zulu’s “Sou Negrao” has a call-and-response vocal riff that recalls Naughty by Nature’s Hip Hop Hooray, and Thaíde & DJ Hum’s “Tempo Bom” samples the R&B classic Mr. Big Stuff. Conversely, Personagens’s “No Corpo a Coisa Pega” swings with the samba and Xis’s “Us Mano E as Mina” is buoyed by reggae-fied rhythms. From Chico Science’s innovative production, to Elza Soares’s new-school version of the Tropicalia standard, “Haiti,” the Brazilianization of our music continues.
The Rough Guide To Brazilian Hip-Hop presents some of the grittier sounds and funkier beats from Brazil’s homegrown rappers. Arriving in Brazil with break-dancing and graffiti, the hip-hop movement spread from the main centres of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro across Brazil, and the doors were opened to the national rap movement in the late 1990s. Mixing rap with samba, soul, reggae, bossa nova, acid-jazz, poetry and rock, the tracks featured on The Rough Guide To Brazilian Hip-Hop are a sampling of the most innovative sounds of Brazil’s hip-hop generation.
This is a condensed, remastered re-release of two albums (Preste atenção, 1996, and O começo 87-91, a compilation from 1997) by Thaide & DJ Hum, a couple of pioneers in Brazilian hip-hop. It left out some of the tracks from the original releases so it would fit in a single CD.
Pioneering duo of hip hop in Brazil, Thaíde (Altair Gonçalves) and DJ Hum (Humberto Martins) met during a party back in the 80s, in São Paulo. Hum was already DJing in various venues, while Thaíde was a break-dancer. Their first recordings – “Corpo Fechado” and “Homens da Lei” – were included in “Hip Hop Cultura de Rua”, the first hip hop compilation to come out in Brazil in 1988. Their first full album, “Pergunte a Quem Conhece” was released in the next year, being followed by “Hip Hop na Veia”. As time went by, they established their name within the rap/hip hop scene in the country and put out other albums, enjoying hits like “Sr. Tempo Bom” from the album “Preste Atenção” (1996). Their latest disc “Assim Caminha a Humanidade” (2000) was released on Trama. Now both of them are working as solo artists.
The first solo album by Brazilian rapper Rappin’ Hood got accolades in the hip-hop scene, but also among a certain samba crowd — one of its songs features Leci Brandão, an important and popular samba singer — prefiguring what would happen in the followup to this record. With excellent production, he presents lyrics mostly focusing social issues, but in a lighter mood and style than the average for Brazilian hip-hop at that time.
A former vocalist of the band Planet Hemp, he started his solo career in 1998 with the album Eu Tiro É Onda. The album was recorded in his studio by David Corcos, and was mixed in New York and Los Angeles by Carlos Bass and Mário Caldato Jr. Eu Tiro É Onda got worldwide attention for the mix of samba and hip-hop, witch Marcelo D2 is one of the pioneers.
One of them Brazilian rap legends.
Philip Jandovsky: ”The second solo album released by Marcelo D2, À Procura da Batida Perfeita (or Looking for the Perfect Beat, as the international release is called) was a great commercial success that was also applauded by many critics. Mixing sambas with rap lyrics and hip-hop beats, Marcelo D2 clearly left the hardcore influence from his years as the leading member of Planet Hemp behind him. The music on this album is all very nice, upbeat, and radio-friendly. Several tracks actually sound as if they were written with the specific purpose of becoming summer hits (although Marcelo D2 has thankfully prevented them from becoming too banal). “Qual E?,” the most popular song on the album, gains some extra sway by containing samples from a funky Brazilian soul hit from the ’70s. Compared to the highly impressive ragamuffin hip-hop of Black Alien (also a former Planet Hemp member who embarked on a solo career as a hip-hopper), Marcelo D2 has chosen a much lighter style, very close to mainstream pop.”