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Rio de Janeiro Hip-hop

Rio de Janeiro Hip-hop music is an active part of the Brazilian hip hop movement.  Pronounced "hippy hoppy" in Portuguese, the Brazilian Hip-hop is one of the world´s major hip hop scenes after the US and France, with active rap, break-dance and graffiti artists, especially in São Paulo. However it is a cultural export of the United States.

Rio Hip-hop scene

Carioca Rapper Gabriel "O Pensador" (The thinker)

Rio de Janeiro has an established hip-hop scene, this are some of the most popular artists:

  • * MV Bill
  • * Marcelo D2
  • * Gabriel, O Pensador
  • * Planet Hemp
  • * Cone Crew Diretoria
  • * Black Alien
  • * BNegão

Origins of Brazilian Hip-Hop

No one will deny its American origins, but after more than twenty years of Carioca hip-hop, it has developed explicitly Brazilian characteristics. Their b-boys and b-girls compete on an international level, Brazilian DJs can be found touring the world, graffiti is so big that Santo Andre - in the outskirts of São Paulo - hosted the first world show of graffiti. There is such a long rap tradition that many don´t even listen to American rap and there are about seven different styles, including gospel, gangster, "futuristic," underground and rock fusion.

Hip-hop and favela life

In many ways Brazilian hip-hop is similar to that of the US. It usually talks about impoverished communities´ daily life: drugs and extreme levels of economic inequality and poverty coupled with drug-related violence.

In most poor neighbourhoods there are hip-hop-centred community projects. Hip-hop is being used by Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to educate the youth on democracy and citizenship, sexuality and STDs, and for literacy campaigns.

Marcelo D-2: Hip-hop and samba

Samba-Rapper Marcelo D2

D2 ("de dois") is one of Rio´s most famous hip-hop MCs. He is the former vocalist of Planet Hemp, a reggae- hardcore band from the ?90s. Marcelo D2 started his solo career in ?98 when he released Eu Tiro É Onda.

After living in Sao Paulo, Marcelo D2 returned to Rio de Janeiro and had great success with his second album, À Procura da Batida Perfeita ("Looking for the perfect beat" in Portuguese, which is a reference to an homonimous Afrika Bambaataa song). This album came out in 2003 and it was produced by Beastie Boys producer Mario Caldato. A procura da batida perfeita mixed hip-hop with samba and it was a breakthrough hit. It included collaborations with Black Eyed Peas´ MC among many others. Its success led to an MTV Unplugged which featured a 24 musician band and included many bossa nova and samba traits. His biggest radio hit is the song "Qual É?" which has featured on the popular Brazilian TV show Cidade dos Homens (City of Men) which portraits favela life.
On 7 July 2007 Marcelo D2 performed at the Brazilian leg of Live Earth

Watch Marcelo D2´s hit "Qual é?":



Take a dive into the unique beat of Rio de Janeiro Hip-hop music.

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