The traditionally angry, violence exalting, drug encouraging lyrics, have been replaced by songs of hope, and calls for peace in Brazil’s favelas.
The funk of Rio evolved from the Miami bass and freestyle , developing eventually an identity of its own and a symbol of the crudest realities of the favelas; rhythms reminiscent of machine gun fire, and lyrics revering crime and the sexual objectification of women.
In the last year, efforts of the Units of Pacification Police (UPP) have resulted in the return of territories once dominated by drug dealers, to the common folk. As a result, the dirty favela funk, has been replaced by tunes of peace, unity and hope.
“Life is not so beautiful here, but there can be art and culture within the slum,” sings MC 2B. In his rap, DJ Ball sends the message: “Favela free, I pray peace. We want to see our children grow up and not taking gunfire.”
MC Henrico, an artist who had a cousin murdered after getting involved with drug dealers from Morro do Borel, chose to not use music as a channel for revenge and seeking criminal empathy. The artist defends the new policing model and sends an important message in his music: “The example we set for our kids is a weapon and a bandit. I still dream of watching a child armed with a book.”
We just hope an example is set, and we get to see the day when Anti-narco-corridos become the big craze.