Brazil is a land of many many musical styles – The most internationally known ones being Samba and Bossa Nova, and the more nationally popular styles being Sertanejo and Forró, among many more. In the past few years, one style in particular has risen up from the favelas (ghettos) of Rio de Janeiro and become more and more mainstream – Funk. Whereas 2 years ago when I was working in São Paulo I never heard it playing in public, nowadays one can hear it blaring from cars on the streets or even in high-end clubs even in Florianópolis. Despite its newfound popularity, it has not shaken its reputation as music from the streets, and I guess its provocative lyrics and raunchy dancers do not help its case!
Despite its stigma, it is actually the only type of music from Brazil that I like (though I am often embarrassed to admit this). People say it is because I do not understand the lyrics well. Funk has a great beat to dance to, and in short it is the closest music to electronic that Brazil has. Funk’s dirty beats are getting noticed by international DJs nowadays too, who have been mixing funk sounds into their sets. Below are my favorites.
Surra de Bunda – Sidney Samson Dutch remix (click here for a non-PG version)
Like This Like That – What So Not
Opá Vem Dançar – MC Biju Gangnam Style Funk Remix
If you ever find yourself in Rio, it is worth it to join a Baile Funk Tour (better not go by yourself, as the clubs are located in the ghettos, albeit pacified). Any hostel should be able to book you a tour. If a trip to the favelas is too adventurous for this trip, you could walk around the bars in Lapa and you’ll for sure find the pulsating beats in one of the clubs. It’s definitely an eye-opening experience – you’d be surprised by all the angles which the carioca girls can shake their booty…