By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Saturday, July 6th two of the biggest names in Brazilian hip-hop, Criolo and Emicida, will share Lapa’s Fundição Progresso stage as the first show of a four city tour to launch their DVD/CD, self-titled “Criolo and Emicida-Live.”
The DVD is a recording of September 2012 Emicida and Criolo performance held in São Paulo’s, Espaço das Américas, the same venue where the two will finish the DVD/CD launch tour on Sunday, July 14th.
In between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo they will also play Curitiba’s Master Hall on Friday, July 12th and Florianópolis’ P12 venue on Saturday, July 13th.
Both grew out of São Paulo’s hip-hop ‘battle’ scene but were raised in opposite regions of the city. Criolo hails from the South Zone and Emicida from the North Zone of the SOuth America’s largest metropolis.
Born Leandro Roque de Oliveira, and using the stage name Emicida, a combination of Portuguese words for MC (Emcee) and homicide or murderer (homicida), Emicida first heard rap – and attempted to make his own rhymes and beats – as a child.
When he later saw a post in 2006 about an MC battle, he rushed to attend, and then began winning and making a name for himself. In 2009 he released “Triunfo“, a song that would go on to be nominated for Best Rap Video and Video of the Year at the 2009 Brazil MTV Awards.
Emicida would follow that with other hits that included “Rua Augusta”, “Outras Palavras” and “A Cada Vento” – all of which are included on the DVD. “These days, you can make a living from music,” he said in a Creator’s Project video. “But in order to do that, you have to maintain a presence for your audience. People need to want to see you play your stuff live.”
“I saw one of [Emicida’s] shows in New York at Nublu,” Rebecca Alper, an American writer who has lived in Brazil, told The Rio Times. “Criolo also played at Nublu last year,” Alper added. “I haven’t yet seen them perform together or at the same show. […] I would love to be in that audience to hear their reactions to recent events.”
Criolo, which translates to Creole, was born Kleber Cavalcante Gomes and was previously known as Criolo Doido (Crazy Creole). He began rapping in 1989 and worked as a teacher between 1994 and 2000.
In his music career he has released two full length albums 2006’s Ainda Há Tempo and 2011’s Nó na Orelha, which he distributed for free online. His style which includes singing and rapping while blending various musical genres, helped him to win several Brazil MTV awards in 2011, including “Album of the Year” for Nó na Orelha and “Song of the Year” for “Não Existe Amor em SP” (There is no love in São Paulo).
His lyrics, like Emicida’s are socially conscious and at times political. “That’s something I appreciate about Criolo, the way he talks about injustices and his hopes for a more equitable world in his calm, humbled voice,” says Alper.
Criolo and Emicida originally met at Rinha dos MC’s (The Pit of MCs), an event created in 2006 by Criolo that includes freestyle rap battles and weekly shows in the city. After years and after both had achieved solo success they teamed up for five performances together at São Paulo’s SESC Pompeia in early 2012.
All shows sold out quickly and that lead to the additional September show at Espaço das Américas. The decision to record the show was made only five days before the performance.
The Fundição Progresso doors will open at 10PM on Saturday for fans in Rio to experience the show live.