Funk Carioca aka Favela Funk explained by wikipedia


Funk Carioca means "Funk from Rio" in Brazilian Portuguese, and is also known as Brazilian Funk (which also relates to a 1970's musical style), Favela Funk and, elsewhere in the world, Baile Funk (the name of the party in which it is played) and also Baile Funk Carioca. It's a type of dance music from Rio de Janeiro, derived from and superficially similar to Miami Bass, with deep rapid beats and aggro vocals. In Rio it is most often simply known as Funk, although it is very different musically from what Funk means in most other places — including Brazil itself.

Baile Funk
Baile in Portuguese literally means "ball", as in "dance party", and "funk" is how locals label the musical genre (see below for origin of this label); therefore, "baile funk" means a "funk ball" or "funk party", and is used in Brazil exclusively to describe the parties where such music is played, and not the music itself. The mainstream Brazilian media often calls the music "Funk Carioca", meaning funk from Rio de Janeiro; alternately, it is simply referred to as "Funk", especially in Rio de Janeiro.

"Carioca" is a native to Rio de Janeiro, Tupi-Guarani word from the 17th century to name the newly-born mixed European/Indian city of Rio de Janeiro itself, and later its inhabitants (in Tupi-Guarani: cari= white people; oca= house, or housing). It is the usual word in Brazil to name the Rio city dwellers or anything else coming from Rio.

Recently, funk carioca parties have been attracting attention outside Brazil. Foreign compilers also tend to use the term "Baile Funk" to represent the musical genre, which differs from the original Brazilian use of the term (the parties only). This may be due to English speakers seeing the word "baile" as an adjective to "funk", as English word order might suggest.

Since "bailes funk" or funk parties take place mostly in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and of other cities since about the 2000s, it is also sometimes known in English as "Favela Funk".

Brazilian Funk
Despite the term being used abroad to refer to the "funk carioca" genre emerged from Rio's favelas, Brazilian Funk is used in Brazil solely with respect to Brazilian black music produced back in the 1970s. Samba-rock and soul artists such as Tim Maia, Erlon Chaves, Gerson King Combo, Jorge Benjor Carlos Dafé and Trio Maria Fumaça were deeply influenced by the actual American Funk music by George Clinton, James Brown, Isaac Hayes and others, a fact that has contributed inside the favelas (slums) to wrongly extend the label "funk" to most American Black music.

Musical origins of Baile Funk
Brazilian record suppliers who went to the United States in the 1970s to buy what was called at the time "Black Music" for Brazilian DJs targeted stores that sold American Funk records. As they continued to support the same hotspots over time, though American music had evolved away from Funk into new genres such as Hip Hop, the word "funk" stuck in local usage.

Miami was then a popular place to obtain records for Brazilian DJs, and therefore, Miami Bass was prominent in these imports. DJ Nazz and Tony Minister were the main suppliers credited to bringing Miami Bass records to Brazil while still referring to them as American funk records. Other local music producers began mimicking these importers in the late 1980s. The influence of Miami is also reflected in the prominence of freestyle-style synth melodies.

Much like any kind of hip hop music, funk carioca relies heavily on samples and interpolations of other songs, as well as of pre-existent funk music. Much of the production occurs in small-scale studios in Rio, and achieve distribution through hand-burned CDs in the markets throughout Rio and all over Brazil, from São Paulo to the Amazônia region. One of the first funk carioca widespread hits was a remix of Tag Team's "Whoomp! (There It Is)" tune.

Besides Miami Bass-style beats, funk carioca also uses some traditional Afro-Brazilian rhythms. A West Coast Electro Bass track entitled 808 Volt (Beatapella Mix) by DJ Battery Brain was widely sampled, and became the common background for various funk carioca songs, recycled time and again with the inclusion of more percussive elements as the "tamborzão" beat style became popular.

Recurrent lyric topics in funk carioca are explicit sexual positions, the funk party, the police force, and the life of slum dwellers in the favelas. Sexual innuendo, favela slang, and homage to the artist's own favela are usual in such lyrics.

Much like rap and hip hop culture is extremely popular yet sometimes feared in the United States because of its strong attitude, funk is sometimes viewed by some people in Brazil as an overly loud, aggressive, misogynist and sociopathic form of music, perhaps due to a lack of trustable information about the true meaning of the lyrics. There is often an element of curiosity about the slums from the Rio middle class.

History of bailes in Rio
The first mixed soul and disco parties in Rio, beginning in the 1970s, are regarded as the pre-history of baile funk in Brazil. They used to place at concert halls or nightclubs in central, middle-class Rio de Janeiro, and the audience was a mix of the stereotypical, contrasting "poor black and white rich" cariocas (Rio dwellers). These parties were first named "black music" or "soul music" parties, promoted by radio DJs. After some years, they migrated to the suburbs in the 1980s, and up to the favelas (slums) after 1998, transforming themselves during the process into the actual bailes funk.

A mythic party called "Baile da Pesada" at concert hall Canecão (in the district of Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro) starting in 1974 with DJs Big Boy and Ademir Lemos, is claimed to be the first one to be called "baile". The word, not usual in Brazil up until then, became then synonymous for those kind of parties. After two years of successful promotion (a vinyl record was even named after "Baile da Pesada" parties), the party was called off by the owners of Canecão. The reasons were unclear, but the accepted explanation at that time regarded the frightened mixed-class audience and the overcrowding of the venue with marketing practices such as cheap tickets and beer - instead of the whiskey-pouring, regular music concerts with seating audiences that constitued the usual events at Canecão. Also, DJ Big Boy, who played a central role in the organisation of the parties, died very young from a heart attack, and "Baile da Pesada" never resumed.

Similar parties, however, popped up instantly right after at the suburbs of the city (not the favelas). In two years, according to a DJ Marlboro's testimonial in his 2004 book, there were already 300 sound systems fully operating, transforming any type of available venue into a "concert hall".

In 1989, the first funk lyrics in Portuguese appeared in the remix album "Funk Brasil" (by record company Polygram), compiled and produced by Cidinho Cambalhota (dead by gun shots in a robbery right before the release) and DJ Marlboro. It became a top seller and inaugurated the "pop" phase of the genre in Brazil, with Cidinho e Doca, Claudinho e Buchecha and other artists that started to become increasingly famous and make top money. Most of the funk carioca videoclips at that time shows helicopters and bling productions, hiphop style. Circa 1994, funk was already made "pop" throughout the country.

The "baile funk" parties continued to take place at suburban venues, but no longer unnoticed. The costs of producing such a party went progressively up, and top artists' stage presence in them became more rare, as some funk producers declared in the book "Batidão, uma história do funk". One of the new marketing strategies to attract people to the parties was to re-create the "gincanas" (group disputes over tasks) very popular on many a Brazilian TV show at that time.

In the 1990s, "hooligan-ish" violent behaviour in football matches became a strong social problem in Brazil. From 1995 to 1998, a phenomenon called "baile de corredor" (corridor balls) took place - in parties, the crowd would line up on opposite sides, called "Lado A" and "Lado B" (A and B side) and fight in the corridor of space between them for 5 to 15min to the sound of the DJ. According to Fight Life magazine (Sweden), a few of the actual "Vale Tudo" Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters started by that time at these balls.

Due to the increasing violence in the "bailes", funk carioca was no longer a pop hit, and the balls were prohibited or severely ruled, sometimes to their extintion.

Around 1998, the first favela parties took place. The poor communities in the Rio slums mitigated the violence in the funk parties and hired back many funk carioca artists - but the hard rules of drug-trafficking and crime-controlled environments also were imposed to the audiences. The era of the funk "proibidão" had just started.

Funk "Proibidão"
A sub-genre of Baile Funk in Brazil is called proibidão, which translates to "highly forbidden". Funk fans say it glorifies local, favela drug dealers and contains heavy and explicitly sexual lyrics. It is not surprisingly seen sometimes as an especially vicious kind of music in the eyes of the Brazilian police force. In February 2005, twelve Rio funk artists were investigated by the local police for crime praising (Rio newspapers made extensive coverage, specially O Dia), but no official criminal charges were made so far.

After 2004, funk lyrics with aggressive content towards the police force have started to being progressively replaced by more sexually explicit, faint-hearted flushing lyric content. Although more popular tunes shout about sexual offenses or excesses, lighter mock versions of well-known Brazilian pop songs can also be listened to in traditional radio stations in Brazil. Furthermore, due to the success of the music genre being spread about to other cities outside Rio, some Brazilian musicians such as Bonde do Rolê have made fun of the background beats and explicit funk lyrics.

Funk "Melody"
DJ Marlboro's radio show "Big Mix", broadcast since the 80s, has popularised a soft version of the underground baile funk songs. These soft versions formed a romantic sub-genre called melodic funk in Brazil, adding melodies and arrangements to the raw, beat-y funk tunes.

Famous baile funk groups/artists
* Bola de Fogo (hit: "Atoladinha")
* Bonde do Tigrão (hits: "O Baile Todo" (All The Party), "Cerol na mão")
* Cidinho e Doca
* Deize Tigrona ("Injeção" famous at M.I.A.s voice as "Bucky Done Gun")
* Denis DJ
* DJ Cabide
* DJ Caverna
* DJ Mavi (rmx of Afrikan Bambaata's "Be More Shake" released on EP at USA, 2005)
* DJ Marlboro
* MC Biruleibe (an almost 60 years old man who has been popularized with his hits "Treme a Tabaca" and "Be-a-ba")
* DJ Phabyo do Castelo
* DJ Sandrinho
* Gorila e Preto
* MC Andinho
* MC Catra (hit: "Adultério" (Adultery))
* MC Colibri (hits: "Bolete", "Pau na Coxa" (Dick On Tigh))
* Mc Dido "Putaria" (Orgy)
* MC Duda Do Borel
* MC Frank
* MC Gil Do Andaraí
* MC Jack E Chocolate (hit: "Pavaroty" [sic])
* MC Leozinho (hit: "Se Ela Dança" (If She Dances))
* Mc Loura (a.k.a. Deise Loura - TROCA-APLICA)
* MC Marcinho (most important name of melody funk)
* MC Mascote
* Mc Pe de Pano
* Mc Rael
* MC Sabrina
* MC Serginho (hits: "Eguinha Pocotó" (Little Mare), "Vai Lacraia" (Go On Centipede), "Peru Pequeno e Xereca Grande" (Little Dick & Big Pussy), the last one features Tati Quebra Barraco)
* MC Tati Quebra Barraco (hits: "Frango Assado" (Baking Chicken), "Siririca" (Female Masturbation), "Boladona")
* MC Thiaguinho
* MC Vanessinha (hit: "Dança da Peteca")
* MC Xana (a.k.a. Xaninha, Xana and the Gang - SEDUZIR VOCE, XANINHA)
* MCs Claudinho e Buchecha (shifted from baile funk to dance pop — after Claudinho's death by car crash, Buchecha gone solo)
* MCs Naldinho & Beth (hit: "Tapinha" (Weak Slap))
* Menor do Chapa
* Sany Pitbull (a.k.a. the maestro, "TRIBOS", "FUNK ALEMÃO", "KRAFTFUNK", "BEATCH BRASIL")
* SD Boys (hits: "Tá dominado" and "Ah, eu tô maluco")

Funk Carioca Worldwide

Funk Carioca was only a regional phenomenon, until the international media have started to report its peculiar combination of music and social issues. The first articles (April 2000 issue of Mixmag magazine, and January 2001 issue of Spin magazine) were about the "Corridor Balls", or the life in the Rio favelas, not really the music in itself, which was frequently described as an outlaw club scene with heavy American hip-hop influence.

In February 11, 2001, the first reference to the music itself was made by Neil Strauss in the New York Times newspaper, recognizing it as a distinct musical genre, and along with Kwaito music in South Africa, one of the first new genres of electronic, street dance music to have become important outside North America and Europe.

Some indie video-documentaries were made right after in Europe, especially in Germany and Sweden. Still, the focus was mainly on the social issues in the favelas. One of the most famous of these series of documentaries is Mr Catra the faithful[3] (2005) by Danish filmmaker Andreas Johnsen, broadcasted by many European open and cable television channels.

Many Rio funk artists have also started to do gigs abroad in the 2000s. DJ Marlboro and Favela Chic Paris club were the pioneer travellers/producers. MC Tati Quebra-Barraco, MC Catra with DJ Sandrinho, Bonde do Tigrão, and Menor do Chapa are some of the first names to come up in the international scene.

The funk carioca production was until then limited to cater to the ghettos and the Brazilian pop market. DJ Marlboro, a major composer of baile funk's tunes declared in 2006 in Brazilian "Isto É magazine" how astonished he was with all the sudden overseas interest in the music genre.

In 2001, for the first time, baile funk tracks appeared on a Non-Brazilian label. They appeared on a compilation that was released by Parisian DJ and music producer Jèrôme Pigeon from Fla-Flu Records. The album was named Favela Chic by NAÏVE Records, containing 3 old-school baile funk hits, including the song "Popozuda Rock n´Roll" by artist De Falla.

In 2003, the tune "Quem Que Caguetou (Follow Me Follow Me)" by Black Alien & Speed, which was not even a big hit in Brazil, was then used in a sports car advertisement in Europe, and it helped spread the word about baile funk. Berliner music journalist and DJ Daniel Haaksman released the seminal CD-compilations "Rio Baile Funk Favela Booty Beats" in 2004, and "More Favela Booty Beats 2006" through Essay Recordings Germany. He launched the international career of "Popozuda Rock n´Roll" artist Edu K, whose baile funk anthem was used in a soft drink TV advertisement in Germany. Haaksman continued to produce and distribute many new baile funk records, especially the EP series "Funk Mundial" and "Baile Funk Masters" on his label Man Recordings.

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