Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Blau!blau! Chimp-gun

Have recently started reading the book Can't Stop, Won't Stop by Jeff Chang. In the first two chapters Chang describes the social climate of both Jamaica and the South Bronx during the seventies. Both were plagued by poverty, unemployment, corruption and violence. The plight of the people in both locations was eventually given voice in the form of hip-hop.

Though I'm sure the parrallel has been drawn before, the story reminds me of the favellas of Brazil and their recently globalized form of expression baile funk. Much like early hip-hop, baile funk relies on repurposed samples of largely disparate forms of music. Miami booty bass lines frequently grind up against the horns of more traditional portugeuse-brazilian music. All the while, favella youngsters spit their unique portugeuse influenced, growl rap overtop, preaching a gloriously rock'n'roll sermon on the virtues of their sex, drugs and money lifestyle.

It's alternately fascinating, and barely listenable. You don't have to like it but everyone, and I mean everyone, whether you care about music or not, should at least listen for a second to what these kids have to say about life in one of the world's most violent areas. I don't pretend to have anything beyond a wikipedia knowledge of this but I do know of a couple places to get started. Here are a few jumping off points.
#1 #2 #3


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