Friday, September 26, 2008
I started watching "The Wire" only a few months ago. I realize that the series has been around for a while but these things don't seem to reach Brazil so I watch it online. Spending most my time in a neighborhood governed by a drug gang I see a lot of similarities between this amazing TV show and my surroundings.
The main thing is that earning a lot of money fast is attractive to young people and I guess the hierarchy in any drug gang exists through violence. We have a saying in Dutch: "Schijt is macht." This translates as "Shit is power" but in Dutch we say shit when somebody actually does not give a shit. So the most power to the one who gives the least of a shit.
The reason I'm bringing this up is because in season 3 there's a club scene with some amazing Baltimore Bass, which reminded me of the music the gun toting youth listen to here. I found the track but its very short. The picture above was taken in Vila Cruzeiro, not by me. The writing on the wall says: "Attention neighbours. In days of war, avoid leaving the house. Thank you, Comando Vermelho."
DJ Technics - My Life Extra (right click download)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The microwave is a common style of execution amongst drugtrafficers. Most druglords eventually end up inside a pile of tires poured over with gasoline. Todays paper was cramped with news about the murder of Tota, druglord of our neighboring favela, Complexo Alemao.
On his way to Vila Cruzeiro, Dre saw police shooting out of low flying helicopters.
This is what the inside of Tota's house looks like. Favela flossin'.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
You might accuse me of being an internatiohipster posting baile funk songs and pictures of people wearing neon colored sunglasses all over this blog but since I've spent most of my time here in Rio for the last two years I feel I can post as much funk as I want and as for the sunglasses.....well.... Here's my favorite funk love song from back in the days:
Mc Marcinho - Rap do Solitario (right click download)
Menor do Chapa - Vida Loka (right click and save)
Two days ago I was painting on the hill with our three co-painters giovanni, Vitor and Robinho while listening to a local radiostation. The station plays 'proibidao' which means that the music might include what could be translated as apologies for crime. In general these are songs about local drugfactions and it's traffickers or about only getting with 'as novinhas' which could be translated as girls of 13-15 years of age.
This is all very normal if you're from one of the many favelas and after spending more than a year working in Vila Cruzeiro I can't say that i'm shocked easily. I could post any of the millions of proibidao songs out there but if you dont understand Portuguese the will just sound like very distorted vocals over very rudimentary beats, mostly live recordings.
I can't hate on Baile Funk though as Rio's most original form of new music. So while listening to the radio with a bucket and a paintbrush in my hands I heard this song by a guy whose voice has been catching my attention for some time. I asked Vitor who the guy was.
So above is a song by Menor do Chapa, one of Rio's most renowned MC's. Well known for his 'apologias' to the Comando Vermelho, the drugfaction that runs Vila Cruzeiro and Complexo da Penha. Imagine what this guy looks like and then click here.