What do you think of rap stars? Do you think that the hip-hop world is just a bling-bling place and nothing more? As this music genre has been defined as much by diamond-encrusted watches, gold necklaces and platinum chains, many think of rap stars as shallow. But not all, Brazilian Rap Star MV Bill proves this wrong.
Answering these socially significant questions, MV bill shows the world that not all rap or hip hop stars lack substance. Well, he has been known as a Brazilian activist rapper that used his craft to initiate change primarily in his violent hometown – Rio de Janeiro.
Definitely, the following statements of this Brazilian rap icon can make your mind change that a rap star is only made of yo, yo, yo and luxurious wardrobes.
Read through these excerpts from his interview and be amazed on how a rap star voices out his concern and belief in equality – not your usual rap idol right?
Q: What is wrong with democracy?
“In my opinion what is wrong with democracy it’s not how it’s written or thought, but how it is applied. (continue reading...)
Do you love Brazil? Are you infatuated with their music? How about their dances like capoeira and samba? How well do you know about Brazilian stuff? As for me I am enchanted by their fusion of hip hop. That’s why I find myself searching and dissecting the know-about of Brazilian rap. And here are some interesting things that Brazilian hip hop fans like me might appreciate.
Well, according to my research the hip hop culture appeared in Brazil in the early 80s - shortly after in the US, more prominently in São Paulo. Actually, it arrived in Brazil by the hands of teams that arranged soul balls and parties. The first ones to appear were the break dancers, who were thrown out of the region by shop owners and the police.
Soon there was a clash between the break dancers and rappers (aka babblers). (continue reading...)
Only hip-hop can save us… How do I say so? Well, it’s not apt for me to say. Actually this line is most suitable for the man who has used his craft to bring a world of difference. Not only that he has gained fame in the Brazilian hip hop industry but more importantly, respect and admiration of people across continents. Who is he? Let’s just call him MV Bill.
Although I am not a huge fan of hip hop, MV Bill (Alexandre Barreto), a rap artist from one of the most violent regions of the city of Rio de Janeiro (favela of Cidade de Deus), (continue reading...)
I don’t believe that people know all about how to stake your claim on a singular genre. Especially if we’re talking about the kind of genre that’ll involve music – you just need to look around town and see just how many bands there are in the rock scene, and you’ll know that you have to be truly exceptional to become something like the Beatles. It’s the same thing in the world of rap and hip hop – to become something like Notorious BIG or P. Diddy, you need to stand up for something.
For MV Bill, rap has become a way for him to become something else. In a way, it’s the reverse for him – he used the genre to stake his claim on an even bigger scene – the visible activist scene of Brazil, specifically Rio de Janeiro. His rap is exceptional in terms of content, in that he uses his words, his lyrics to speak out against the injustices suffered by the children of Brazil. (continue reading...)
I don’t listen to hip hop. Seriously, there’s something about the genre that I rather dislike. I go out on the streets, hear all these kids belting out these lyrics that aren’t just obscene, they’re atrocious, and I know I’m better off going back inside and stepping into a cold shower. That’s how pissed off I get whenever rap music gets in my face.
It isn’t the form that bothers me. It’s the content. You can’t work with something that speaks of sex in the park, shooting folks that stepped on their “turf,” that kind of stuff. American rap, Brazilian hip hop, Mexican rap – they’re all the same.
I wouldn’t say that I haven’t heard of hip hop that doesn’t sit well with me, though. There are people who make decent rap songs that sit well with me. MVBill, for one, is a popular rapper who’s in the Brazilian music scene for a cause. That’s something else right here: whenever you see a rapper who’s in the business to make a difference, that’s something you have to admire. It isn’t just making a name for yourself in your listeners, or raking in the cash. This guy actually stands for something.
Not that it’s bad to work in order to earn your bread and butter – that’s part and parcel of having a job anyway. But for MV Bill, rap is more than just a way of making money. It’s a means to an end in more ways than one, and in the same way musicians like Bob Marley used their music to promote a belief system that emphasized on something that’s deeper, MV Bill uses his position as a fixture in the world of Brazilian hip hop to evangelize. (continue reading...)
It isn’t everyday that you meet a man like Alexandre Barreto.
And this is the reason why. When you talk about the rap community in the U.S. you tend to think of drugs, promiscuity and opulence, and uncharted violence comes to mind. It’s a completely different scenario in Rio de Janeiro; the slums of Brazil aren’t that different from the slums of Los Angeles. Gang violence abounds, drugs and poverty is a daily way of life.
Alexandre Barreto – better known as MV Bill, rap artist – grew up in this environment. And he’s a rapper. It’s easy to imagine how an individual like him can be easily drawn into the world his music is usually associated with, especially given that the city he hails from, Cidade de Deus (CDD), is a festering cesspool of the Brazilian drug trade. (continue reading...)