Bo-Peep’s Tropical Bleats Vol. 9: Baile Funk — With Special Guest Ben Arsenal!

Published on April 13th, 2011

Considering that I’ve been neglectful of Baile Funk in the past, I decided to do something special this week. Ben Arsenal is a Philadelphia-based DJ and producer with a deep love for Baile Funk (also known as Funk Carioca). As such, I can’t think of a better way to showcase this ground-breaking genre than to hand off this week’s volume to his capable hands. Ben, take it away!

Funk Carioca
by Ben Arsenal

Funk Carioca (pronounced “funky” in Portuguese) is the Brazilian equivalent to our Baltimore Club music. It’s characterized by high energy, repetitive rhythms laced with quirky sounds and often raunchy lyrics. Its definitely some of the craziest party/dance music out there. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, its sexually intoxicating vibes have found their way to the Brazilian mainstream, and is now taking the world by storm. It was developed by DJs, who use MPCs to chop up vocal samples and old Axé beats from Bahia, creating awesome live productions and remixes.

I studied abroad in Florianópolis (in the Southern state of Santa Catarina) a little over a year ago. There I had the chance to get a more comprehensive view of the genre, and after getting a grip on the language, realized what the music was all about. For instance, one of my favorite lines goes something like, “I was married, but came back to get laid.” With the raging success of Funk Carioca, Brazilian music industry executives have urged some artists to move away from the genre’s defining, promiscuous lyrics, and pushed for the development of much fluffier tracks, such as “Tamborzão ta rolando (The tambourine is rolling).”

In November 2009, I was introduced to a promoter of a big New Years party who asked to hear some of my mixes. After checking them out he said I had a nice, very unique taste in House music, but that he really needed someone to play Funk Carioca. I said, “What the hell, why not?” The party popped off and at around 1:00 AM. I had about 500 people drunk off their asses, shakin’ it to “As meninhas decedam pelo chao, pelo chao (Girls go to the floor, to the floor).” It was a wicked experience and made me realize that no matter the culture, people love high energy beats and seductive lyrics.

Funk Carioca Minimix for TheNewPhiladelphia.Com by Ben Arsenal

About the mix: this is a few selections, starting with some foul mouthed lyrics and ending with a pop anthem. Wicked tracks, but low audio quality… which is unfortunately the case with most widely-distributed Funk Carioca tunes. You usually find them via mixtapes at the markets, or sites like Funk Neurotico.

Also check out Diplo’s recently released Favela on Blast, an awesome feature-length film documenting this innovative, ever-evolving genre. Watch the trailer below, and purchase it in the link above!

That’s all for this week. Special thanks to Ben Arsenal! Next week, Soca!


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