Guest DJ: Rio De Janeiro Hip-Hop Star Marcelo D2

Marcelo D2, the Brazilian artist who helped create "samba-rap." i i

hide captionMarcelo D2, the Brazilian artist who helped create "samba-rap."

Washington Possato/Courtesy of the artist
Marcelo D2, the Brazilian artist who helped create "samba-rap."

Marcelo D2, the Brazilian artist who helped create "samba-rap."

Washington Possato/Courtesy of the artist

English / Spanish

You might have noticed we're having a sort of fling with Brazil this week. Brasil Summerfest is happening in New York City through July 30 (the festival began on the 24th), and we think it's an excellent time to remind our listeners of all the amazing music coming out of that country.

In keeping with our theme of celebrating all things Brazil, this week on Alt.Latino we had the privilege of welcoming Rio de Janeiro rapper Marcelo D2, or Marcelo Maldonado Peixoto, on our air. He talked to us about why Rio is better than São Paulo, his son's band Start, and his own journey from street worker to the most internationally recognized hip-hop artist in Brazil. During the interview, I couldn't help but think that there's something about Portuguese – Marcelo's native tongue, and the language he used to answer our questions – that transforms even the most mundane sentiment into full-bodied poetry.

Marcelo D2 takes the ripe sonic possibilities of his language to spin verses over music that samples samba and borrows lyrically from American hip-hop. According to Spain's El País, Marcelo has been credited with originating a new genre: samba-rap.

It's a special mix of Afro-Bahian rhythms and political lyrics, influenced heavily by hip-hop pioneers from the United States like Chuck D of Public Enemy and Ice-T, that give Marcelo's rap its distinctive flavor.

After vibing together about the alive-and-well state of Brazilian hip-hop, Marcelo spoke to us about his country's deep social and economic inequalities (according to The New York Times, Brazil had until recently the most unequal distribution of wealth in the world). He explained to Alt.Latino that for years Brazilians have been promised a great future by political leaders, but that future "nunca chega" – or never comes.

It's no coincidence that some of the best hip-hop and most exciting musical movements (including AfroReggae, which uses music to reach out to disempowered youth) have come out of Brazil's poorest neighborhoods, the favelas. For hip-hop practitioners in the violent outskirts of cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, shedding light on police brutality and the casualties of the drug war is of utmost importance. Marcelo paraphrased Ice-T's famous phrase that rapping in a poor neighborhood is tantamount to reporting from a war zone.

There's an urgency in the work of these artists, including two Marcelo D2 brought in for us – Xis (the Portuguese for 'X', as in Malcolm) and Emicida – whose medium has given them a voice and social power they didn't have access to until recently.

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English / Spanish

Esta Semana En Alt.Latino: Invitado Especial Marcelo D2

Como se habrán dado cuenta, esta semana estamos enamorados de Brasil. Brasil Summerfest está ocurriendo en Nueva York hasta el 30 de Julio (el festival comenzó el 24), y a nosotros nos parece un momento excelente para recordarles a ustedes de toda la increíble música que nace en ese país.


Sobre ese tema, esta semana en Alt.Latino tuvimos el placer de hablar con Marcelo D2, el famoso rapero de Río de Janeiro, también conocido como Marcelo Maldonado Peixoto. Nos habló acerca de porque ama a su ciudad, la banda de su hijo - Start, y como se convirtió en uno de los raperos brasileros mas conocidos del mundo. Al escuchar la entrevista, no pude dejar de pensar en el encanto que tiene el portugués - la lengua materna de Marcelo, y el idioma que usó para contestar nuestras preguntas. Es un idioma que transforma a los sentimientos más cotidianos a una rica poesía.

Marcelo D2 aprovecha las musicalidad natural de su idioma natal para crear rimas que flotan por encima de música que remezcla samba y hip-hop estadounidense. Según el diario El País, Marcelo es reconocido por haber creado un nuevo género: samba-rap.

Su mezcla especial de ritmos del noreste de Brasil y su letra política, han sido influenciados por pioneros del hip-hop como Chuck D de Public Enemy y Ice T.

Además de charlar sobre el hip-hop brasilero de ayer y hoy, Marcelo nos habló acerca de las desigualdades profundas que existen en su país y su deseo de ayudar a que ocurra un cambio (según The New York Times, Brasil es uno de los países con mas desigualdad económica en el mundo). Según el, durante muchos años el gobierno ha prometido al pueblo brasilero que se acerca un gran futuro, pero ese futuro "nunca chega" - o nunca llega.

No es ninguna coincidencia que algunos de los mejores movimientos musicales han surgido de los barrios mas pobres del país, las favelas. Para los artistas de hip-hop que originan en el epicentro de la violencia de ciudades como Rio de Janeiro y Sao Paulo, esclarecer lo que está pasando en las sombras, los abusos de la policía o la violencia sin sentido de la narco-guerra, es de suma importancia. Para explicar este fenómeno, Marcelo usó la frase de Ice-T: ser rapero en un barrio pobre es como hacer reportajes en una zona de guerra.

Existe una urgencia en las obras de estos artistas, entre ellos dos que Marcelo D2 nos hizo escuchar - Xis (que en portugués signifca 'X', como Malcolm) y Emicida - que a través de su arte ha podido expresarse de una forma que antes no existía.

This Week On Alt.Latino: Rio De Janeiro's Hip Hop Star Marcelo D2 Guest DJs

Marcelo D2

Qual É?

  • Artist: Marcelo D2
  • Album: À Procura Da Batida Perfeita
YouTube
 
Emicida

Triunfo

  • Artist: Emicida
  • Album: Pra quem já Mordeu um Cachorro por Comida, até que eu Cheguei Longe...

To hear more music by Emicida, check out his Myspace page.

YouTube
 
Criolo

Não existe amor em SP

  • Artist: Crioulo Doido
  • Album: Nó Na Orelha

To hear more music by Criolo, check out his Myspace page.

YouTube
 
In pursuit of the perfect beat

Procura da Batida Perfeita

  • Artist: Marcelo D2
  • Album: Looking for the Perfect Beat
YouTube
 
Start

Que vença o melhor

  • Artist: Start
  • Album: Que vença o melhor

To hear more music by Start, go to the group's Myspace page.

YouTube
 
A fuga

A Fuga

  • Artist: Various
  • Album: Brazil 1: Escadinha Fazendo Justiça Com as Própria

To hear more music by Xis, check out his Myspace page.

YouTube
 
Marcelo D2

Desabafo/Deixa Eu Dizer

  • Artist: Marcelo D2
  • Album: Arte do Barulho
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Purchase Featured Music

  • "Desabafo/Deixa Eu Dizer"
  • Album: Arte Do Barulho
  • Artist: Marcelo D2
  • Label: EMI Music Distribution
  • Released: 2011
YouTube
 
Marcelo D2

That's What I Got

  • Artist: Marcelo D2
  • Album: Meu Samba É Assim [Bonus Track]
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Purchase Featured Music

  • "That's What I Got"
  • Album: Meu Samba É Assim [Bonus Track]
  • Artist: Marcelo D2
  • Label: Sony BMG Music (Canada)
  • Released: 2006
 

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