This page has moved to http://ghettobassquake.com/

Monday, August 14, 2006

Rocinha Funk Attack


Brazilian baile funk or funk carioca can be pretty heavy and wierd the first time you listen to it, so if your not immediately feeling the Bassquaking beats, crazed rave stabs and hysterical portugese rhymes you have to put in in some sort of context. Think 2 live crew's' 'Me so horny' crossed with early Prodigy and your nearly there.

I first heard funk at Sonar 04 when the Godfather of funk
DJ Marlboro killed it. Opening with Tag Team's 'Whoomp- There it is', he played an incredible hour long set of dirty Rio funk, to thousands of Euro-ravers that had never heard it before. Within seconds the dancefloor was full. I was liking these beats so much that I went to see him play again in London a week later. He gave me a couple of cds and then I was hooked. I did a bit of research and found out that this music wasn't made by some trendy dance producers but by some of the poorest people in South America who live in the favela ghettos around the outskirts of Rio.

Marlboro had brought back some Miami Bass records to Brazil in the late 80's a few kids started making their own localised versions of these beats with some fierce Mcing over the top. They started playing them at Bailes ( favela Balls ) and it became the music of the people in the same way that Hip Hop was born in the Bronx in the late 70's. Everyone else in Brazil thought it was rubbish.

A year later I was lucky enough to be passing through Rio and tried to find some fresh funk. It wasn't happening. I thought this stuff would be everywhere but no one knew what I was talking about and I spent a few days trying to explain to various record shop staff that I didn't want to buy any James Brown cds. Eventually I found some in a dirty market in downtown Rio where some kids were selling cds out of a bag.I bought a few for about 10p each. They were incredible.


While I was there I visited Rocinha favela, the largest slum in Rio. It was a pretty crazy place and lived up to all the cliches in City of God. Some gangster kid walked passed me carrying a golden gun like in James Bond. Apart from that it was quite chilled and all the people I met were really friendly. I could hear funk blasting from people's shacks and saw kids in the narrow streets practising their funk dance routines. It was inspiring to see peope living in such a dangerous and poverty stricken place but they are still making some of the freshest and original forms of global hip hop.

This is how deeply they Roll in Rio


I have made this bitesized mix with some of my favourite tunes. The sound quality is a bit shit in places but it should be played with as much bass as possible for the full funk impact. However, like drum 'n' bass you won't really 'get it' till you hear it on a big soundsystem. But for now...Play loud.

download ROCINHA FUNK ATTACK

Tracklist

INTRO
BASS GEN XX - ROCINHA STREET TRACK 6
UNKNOWN - ROCKY THEME
DEIZE TIGRONA - INJECAO
UNKNOWN - FUNK NEUROTICO 1
UNKNOWN - FUNK NEUROTICO 2
FELIPE CARVALHO DJ & MC KULA - VIRA DE BRUCO 2006
BOLA DE FOGO E AS FORGUENTAS - ATOLADINHA
UNKNOWN - FUNK CRUEL 10
MC SAQUINHO - MONTAGEM THE SMITH
DENNIS DJ & MC CABO - TIRE A CAMISA ( DJ GORKY REMIX )
DJ SUJINHO - TA DOMINADO
PITBULL - ABERTURA
SD BOYS - POPOZUDA DO PLANETA
UNKNOWN - FUNK NEUROTICO 23
UNKNOWN - MONTAGEM COCA SKOL
BONDE DO VINHO - DEITA NO CHAO ( REMIX )
OS CARRASCOS - TRES TENNORES





Beat diaspora This bloke is living it.
Nossa DJ/ Designer
UK loves Baile funk Holding it down for London
Factmagazine Photos

5 comments:

scruggs said...

steppa,

thanks for the add -- not living it for much longer, I'm afraid. the plane ticket reads 4 days from now; don't want to believe it.

I'm glad to hear of other people who like funk having gone to Rio. It's an entirely different matter firsthand. However, I do want to clarify a few things about funk in general and Rio in particular.

I'm not surprised record store owners kept pushing James Brown your way -- I'm sure they have a vague idea of what funk is (I mean, most Americans, music store owners or not, have heard of a thing called "rap"), but couldn't imagine that a gringo wanted Rio funk.

that said, I wouldn't characterize Uruguiana (the downtown market) as some kind of hidden or more obscure place to buy music. as Mr Catra's managers were telling me yesterday, 50% of all CDs sold in Rio are pirated. in other words, Uruguiana is on equal footing with Modern Sound and anything else you'll find in Copa, Lapa, or Ipanema.

as for Rocinha, I've spent a lot of time there in the last month as a volunteer teaching English. also been checking out its bailes, radio stations, music stores, and MCs. so while I'm no local, I can confidently say it does not live up to City of God's cliches. traficantes carrying guns does not equal the kind of rampant violence that City of God showcases -- I see more guns (and big ones, too) on the police than I do on the traficantes. and the only person who's come close to giving me any trouble in 2 months was a policeman. not trying to glorify the gangs, but it's way more complicated than one might think (even way more complicated, I'm sure, than I think it is right now).

Rocinha, meanwhile, isn't entirely a favela anymore. The Favela/Bairro ("Ghetto/Neighborhood," essentially) initiative that was started a few years back has added some governmental legitimacy to some of the larger/more stable/closer to rich neighborhoods favelas, rocinha included. it's got paved roads. city buses run through it. it has restaurants, pet stores, bars, clubs, video rental store ("Rocbuster," my personal favorite), pharmacies, grocery stores, cell phone stores. broadband internet. it has its own cable TV channel (Roc TV)! the asfaltização ('asphaltification' -- that is, the arrival of the amenities of 'a asfalta,' or non-favela neighborhoods) of rocinha, and the favela/bairro project in general, are controversial for many reasons. moreover, certainly there's still poverty and certainly the ADA gang plays a major role in Rocinha's social structure

but all that withstanding, it hardly fits with most people's preconception of a favela.

[and of course, you went in 2004. a lot can change in 2 years. but, for your benefit and anyone else's who's curious, I thought I'd jump on a quick soapbox and offer my on the ground reporting for a hot minute.]

FaveladodaRocinha said...

good stuff..a minha vida e o FUNK!

da favela da Rocinha

Anonymous said...

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . H e l l o . . . N i c e . . . B l o g . . . P U S H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

brightonik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brightonik said...

Having lived in Rio and owned a bar in the area of Lapa, I got to know a bit about funk caricoca. I was continually invited to bailes. In the early days my friend and I used to go to Rocinha, they had bailes for kids which finished about 10pm on a Sunday, there was a club half way up the hill called Castello das 'something', which was awesome but wasn't always open. Then later the after-party up the hill at Rua 1; this was cool, bit of live pagode and funk; the people weren't too sure about a couple of gringos rocking up at first, but everyone was friendly and violence just isn't tolerated; I never felt unsafe. However, then I started going to the CV (Comander Velmelho) bailes and so, Rocinha was out of bounds being that it is ADA controlled (CV's arch nemesis). You can't really go to both. The best bailes in Rio were the ones on Fridays at Mangueira, Saturdays at Avore Seca and Sundays at Arará. All CV. Lots of guns but you get used to that; even when the guns fire them into the air. I wasn't too happy about them giving them too kids to hold and swing around when rolling through the crowd in their bonde. However, I was lucky never to witness an invasion; I never saw any trouble, in fact. The equipes (sound systems) are so sick! I even started DJ'ing funk in our bar and took over from my friend DJ CID one night in Mangueira, one of the most memorable nights of my life. Funk has changed massively over the years and now, all you hear in the bailes is Proibidão, which is only heard in the favela because of its pro-gang, pro-sex and pro-drug lyrics. It's so grimey; the songs are very cheap and just talk about sex and bandidos but they have a grittiness that just oozes street culture, I love the sick conga rhythms and mad basslines with insane dirty MCing, very tribal. Baile funk reminds me very much of the Drum and Bass, grime and dubstep raves in the UK; the cultures are extremely similar; with the heavy bass rhythms and freestyle MCing; only in the UK the guys hold their gun-finger up and in the bailes of Rio the guys hold their real guns up!

On a more serious note, it is a very complex situation in Rio with the favelas, gangs, drug-dealing, corrupt police and moradores (residents) all living and working in close proximity. The gangs have to pay the police in some cases R$5000 (about $2500) to hold the bailes - every week; just think about that. That money isn't going to the government or to the community, it goes straight into the bent cop's wallet. If they don't pay, they risk a police invasion; potentially devastating for the community. When the Caveirão (police armoured truck complete with massive, red-eyed skull on the side)invades, the innocent suffer, bullets are exchanged between traficantes and police and stray bullets are a danger to civilian life. This is tragic. To say "the police should just leave them alone" would be wrong because the gangs would certainly get out of control. But the way it is, the police are in some ways worse than the traficantes, you might even consider them the bosses of the traficantes. To say the traficantes are all scum is also wrong because they look after the people in some ways and stand up for the poor supporting many community projects representing a problem that the government do not want to deal with. You look on a map of Rio, you won't see and favelas, just green areas.

All I know is I love baile funk and hope they never stop but then I don't live in a favela day in day out.

Viva la revolucion

É Nóis