Funk loses its forbbiden label to become a success in Rio’s nightlife
Rio is the land of samba, of course. But now it shares its kingdom with another popular rhythm also grown in its favelas and year after year conquers a greater public of all ages, lifestyles and income. As the song says Funk is now frontpage of a magazine.
Brazilian Funk has very little to do with the one sung by artists like James Brown. The genre was born influenced by the American black music of the 1980’s mainly the Miami Bass, from which Funk borrowed the fast rhythmic beat and the highly eroticized content in its lyrics. The eletronic base in regular compasses created an almost hypnotic pattern in what differs from the samba, full of syncopation (unexpected beats).
In the 1990’s the young people at the favelas decided to sing their daily life of poverty and violence in the middle of wars involving druglords, the police and militias, what gave a political tone to their lyrics opposed to the rather erotic sets of other composers. There were other alternative that talked about consumerism inside the favelas, people that started to have money because of the drug trafficking – this type was named ostentatious Funk.
There was also a very popular trend in Funk that was inspired by the American free style, a mix of club, dance music, house and blues. The Funk Melody had more sampling, more romantic themes and thus closer to the general public taste, used to the samba lyrism or the melancholic tone of Brazilian music of the countryside, known as “caipira”.
After the authorities retook the favelas, cariocas from every corner started going uphill to have fun in those Funk balls. Instead of fear or rejection, artists started to attract fans and Funk matured as major music genre. Most parties today prefer the Funk Melody, which also reached the hit parades list, almost entirely dominated nowadays by a style that mixes Country music with our caipira, thus producing what we call “música sertaneja”.
Here some parties you can go to know what’s the carioca Funk like:
Eu Amo Baile Funk
Monthly held at Circo Voador, a famous show house at Lapa district, it’s a party exclusively dedicated to the traditional Funk. The event happens since 2005 and had more than a hundred editions. Tickets range from US$ 10 to US$ 30. For more information: https://www.facebook.com/EuAmoBaileFunk/
Baile do Bené
Bené (Benedito), the host of this itinerant ball, is a fictional character using typical carioca slang to invite people to the party. Each edition has especial guests among DJ’s, MC’s and singers. Tickets range from less than US$ 10 to US$ 20: https://www.facebook.com/BaileDoBene/
Baile da Favorita
One of Rio’s top promoters organizes today what is probably the most famous ball in Brazil, which started in Rocinha, a Rio’s favela in 2011. The sound is heavy on the Funk Melody and gathers DJ’s and MC’s from two generations. Between the main presentations, DJ’s keep the dancefloor moving. This party today has been happening all over Brazil. Tickets go from US$ 20 to US$ 40.