Randi Hernandez
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Journey Into Sound: Rio Funk

Journey Into Sound: Baile Funk

Journey Into Sound: Baile Funk

This week, we are going to Rio de Janeiro!

Baile Funk, also known as Funk Carioca (Rio Funk) or Favela Funk, is a type of music from Rio de Janeiro that is a mixture of Miami Bass and freestyle. The genre of music is fairly new and it started in Brazil in the poor areas called favelas. Why Miami Bass, you may ask? Brazil’s mash-up of Miami Bass was most likely due to travel routes – Miami is a popular plane stop for traveling Rio DJs, ( so most of the DJs picked up records in this area (www.eyesonbrazil.wordpress.com). Baile funk started developing in the 80’s and 90’s in Rio, and didn’t really filter elsewhere until around 2000.

Out of all of the Miami Bass and freestyle records of the time, the DJs in Rio often used DJ Battery Brain’s “808 Volt” or Hassan’s “Pump up the Party” as the basis of their beats (wikipedia). The early Baile Funk didn’t utilize the tamborzão (Brazilian hand drums) as much as the songs of today; the majority of the early Baile Funk had more of a freestyle feel to it. Also, modern Baile Funk has intricate horn parts and also features an accordian sound on occasion (wikipedia). The songs include rapping or singing, and in some cases, even shouting. Many of the songs feature a sped-up version of the victory song from the movie Rocky.

Before the U.S. hopped on the Baile Funk bandwagon, Europe got into the style of music first. The genre first took off when the Baile Funk song “Quem Que Caguetou (Follow Me Follow Me) was used in a sports car advertisement in Europe. Another song by Edu K, “Popozuda Rock n’ Roll”, was used in a soft drink commercial in Germany (wikipedia).

The U.S. first really got a taste of Brazilian Funk in 2005 with the introduction of the Diplo- produced artist M.I.A. and her popular song “Bucky Done Gun”. Diplo started making multiple Baile Funk mixtapes and even went to Brazil to shoot a documentary about his experience in Brazil – this project was called Favela on Blast.

This music is fun, fun, fun and quite easy to dance to. Check out the playlist to listen to some of the best songs, and also see below for a Diplo interview.

Image Layout: SB

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