Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Killer Opening Songs: "Convoque seu Buda" by Criolo


For more than three decades rap has been mainly known as an Anglophone, US-born, African-American-driven musical phenomenon. At the beginning, lyrics focused more on social and political issues. However, with the passing of time and with the wealth-accumulating habits of certain rap artists, the genre has lost its initial bite somewhat.

Not everywhere, mind you. There still exist places around the world where rap is being used as a weapon of war to address important issues. Killer Opening Songs is proud to introduce an artist who has done precisely this since his scene-stealing debut album No Na Orelha in 2011.

Criolo is a slum-raised Brazilian singer (and singer is the key word here as he not only raps but also has the pipes to deliver some of the most beguiling and beautiful melodies ever. For evidence of this, please, listen to the third track on No Na Orelha, Não Existe Amor em SP). It is to his second album, Convoque seu Buda, that K.O.S. is turning its attention tonight, especially its Killer Opener, the title track. The song builds on the same elements that made its predecessor, No Na Orelha, Rolling Stone magazine’s Best Album of the year almost half a decade ago. There’s the hard-hitting commentary on the economic, social and political situation of Brazil, especially in the build-up to the Olympic Games next year. All this is mixed with catchy, foot-tapping beats and delivered with panache and maturity.

Whilst rap is Criolo’s main means of expression, the album Convoque seu Buda (literally, Invoke your Buddha) is testament to other styles this son of São Paulo has adopted. There is reggae, Afrobeat and samba throughout the record. Killer Opening Songs even detected the influence of Tropicália, the 60s and 70s musical movement that sought to blend different styles such as rock and funk with more traditional Brazilian rhythms. As mentioned before, Criolo is not just an outstanding rapper but also an excellent singer songwriter as demonstrated in the fourth track, Casa de Papelão, a haunting song whose harsh subject matter, homelessness, contrasts beautifully against its sophisticated arrangements. It also has one of the better bass hooks Killer Opening Songs has heard in a long time.

It is again the K.O.S. that is the leading character in this album. Convoque seu Buda, both title track and album show that rap has not died a slow death; killed by corporate appropriation and greed. No, rap has found a new lease of life, but now it is singing in Portuguese… and Spanish.

© 2015

Next Post: “Saturday Evenings: Stay In, Sit Up and Switch On”, to be published on Saturday 12th December (GMT)

17 comments:

  1. Thanks for bringing this talented artist to my attention.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not an artist I knew. Thank you so much for the education.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank You for the tip, Chica!




    Warm ALOHA,
    ComfortSpiral

    (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_('')

    ReplyDelete
  4. cool. I like the rythm in this kind of music :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Has a great beat indeed, good still some rap that has meaning takes seed

    ReplyDelete
  6. Criolo has me dancing in my seat. He has a unique sound and an impressive backstory too.

    ReplyDelete
  7. love the criolo art, reminds me of early man

    ReplyDelete
  8. Having a degree of affection for Dee-Troit, I tried my best to become attached to rap through the sound of Eminem way back when, but never found the right path. I did look for it again this evening with your Brazilian, CiL, but I am afraid a change in language has brought me no closer to enlightenment.

    The sound of "Casa de Papelao" I found to be much more to my taste, and I will search out a bit more of Criolo when he performs in that style and manner.

    Interestingly (to me), in recent months I have grown attached to Brazilian renditions of good old rock 'n' roll performed both in English and in Portuguese.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm not a huge fan of rap, but I did like this! Sounds good in Brazilian Portuguese.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I never could take to rap, I'm afraid, but I listened anyway. I always feel the words are indistinguishable because my mind is concentrating on the beat.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi ACIL - thanks so much for highlighting these ... it's a very clever genre - and expresses much. I shall enjoy listening to these - the Convoque seu Buda: makes for interesting listening - I'm think of Opera for some reason. Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for this post, sounds interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Cool video--so interesting to hear rap in another language--he has a very interesting visual style- thanks, Cubano--

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looove it! I had to turn down my Seun Kuti CD to listen to Criollo and I will be listening to his CD next! I love all aspects of Brasilian culture and listen to tons of Brasilian musician, including Seu George, Ceu and Caetono Veloso but somehow I missed Criollo. Hip hop is evolving, the original revolutionary tunes are mainly being produced by independent MCs like Jean Grae, Lupe Fiasco and Immortal MC while the commercial stuff focuses on material living. The oppressed around the world have always connected to hip hop and I've heard some impressive raps in Palestinian, Zulu, Wolof and of course, Spanish. Thanks so much for alerting me to more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suggest that you get both his albums. They're on repeat chez moi! :-)

      Greetings from London.

      Delete
  15. It's interesting when you say 'slum raised'. Definitely gives one a preconceived vision of a person doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does, you're right. At the same time, part of his identity is based on that slum where he grew up and my little bit of Portuguese is enough to understand how much this environment still means to him. :-)

      Greetings from London.

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...