Vem Pra Rua: The Music Of Brazilian Protest

A protester waves a Brazilian flag over cars driving to the football stadium in Fortaleza, Northern Brazil, on June 19, 2013. i i

hide captionA protester waves a Brazilian flag over cars driving to the football stadium in Fortaleza, Northern Brazil, on June 19, 2013.

Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images
A protester waves a Brazilian flag over cars driving to the football stadium in Fortaleza, Northern Brazil, on June 19, 2013.

A protester waves a Brazilian flag over cars driving to the football stadium in Fortaleza, Northern Brazil, on June 19, 2013.

Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images

A Brazilian colleague once told me a wry joke: "We are forever the country of the future." He was referring to the fact that, for decades, the South American giant has been held up as a model of economic and social progress — but for so many Brazilians, that growth is not felt. There is currently a 21 percent poverty rate.

In the last few days, thousands of Brazilians have taken to the streets to protest price hikes and corruption. That sentiment has been percolating for a long time, and is not without precedent: Brazil has a long history of political protest and activism.

Brazil always fights back; you have to look no further than its rich musical history to see that. Too often, the melancholy in Brazilian culture gets lost in translation, but that's also a casualty of cultural misunderstanding and the fetishization of Brazil and its people, who are too often billed as happy, over-sexed, party-hard alternatives to the grim denizens of other nations. This does no justice to the depth and beauty of Brazilians' ongoing struggle: If you take away people's tragedies, you also water down their victories.

Thursday on Tell Me More, we discuss the musicians who add a soundtrack to the protests currently rocking Brazil. We also pay our respects to Brazil's history of protest music with a look at back at the '70s, when Chico Buarque and Milton Nascimento bravely took the stage to denounce a brutal dictatorship.

Vem Pra Rua: The Music Of Brazilian Protest

Cover for Chico 50 Años: O Politico

Chico Buarque

  • Album: Chico 50 Años: O Politico
  • Song: Calice
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  • "Calice"
  • Album: Chico 50 Años: O Politico
  • Artist: Chico Buarque
  • Label: Polygram
  • Released: 1997
YouTube
 
Cover for Vem Pra Rua

O Rappa

  • Album: Vem Pra Rua
  • Song: Vem Pra Rua
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Cover for Vivo Feliz

Elza Soares

  • Album: Vivo Feliz
  • Song: Opinião
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  • "Opinião"
  • Album: Vivo Feliz
  • Artist: Elza Soares
  • Label: Pilot
  • Released: 2004
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Cover for As Coisas Não Caem Do Céu

Leoni

  • Album: As Coisas Não Caem Do Céu
  • Song: As Coisas Não Caem Do Céu
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