By Katya Gubarev, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This Thursday, January 27th American rapper Shawn Mims is presenting in Copacabana at a popular hip hop night – Festa Joker’s (Joker’s Party). The 29-year-old singer of well-known hits “Like This” and “This Is Why I’m Hot” is expected to attract locals and foreigners alike to Clandestino Mex club located inside the Stone of a Beach hostel.

New York Rapper Mims
New York Rapper Mims, photo courtesy of Babi Produções, Clandestino Mex e X-Type Music Group.

Born in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, NYC, Mims became interested in music early on. After the death of his parents, the teenager started to DJ and learn about music production. He enrolled in Nassau Community College after graduating high school, but left two months after to pursue a career as a rapper.

In 2001, he was discovered by Quincy S/Duq Entertainment, a Canadian label, and he gained his recognition in Canada shortly after. His first U.S. Single “I Did You Wrong” did quite well, and Mims continued to build up his name in the industry.

So far he released two records, Music Is My Savior (2007), the Guilt (2009). “Move (If You Wanna)” became the first official single from Mims’ new album, peaking at 63rd position on the Hot 100 Charts.

“We are expecting over 200 hundred people to come for the event,” says Roberta Breves who spent a year working at Clandestino and now is involved in public relations. The club is quite small, and the artists perform in the middle of a crowd as there is no stage.

Festa Jokers Flier
Festa Jokers Flier, image courtesy of Babi Produções, Clandestino Mex e X-Type Music Group.

This creates an intimate atmosphere, but also calls for an attendance restriction. Breves explains that they try not to go over the number of 300 maximum, because the place gets packed and uncomfortably hot. She stands on her tip toes on the dance floor next to the sound equipment, demonstrating where the air conditioning can be felt the best. “Also, security needs to have access” she adds.

Clandestino has had a successful hip hop night for over a year and a half, and currently Thursdays are reserved for this event. Usually, about ninety per cent of the audience is composed of Cariocas, and the remaining ten is residents of the hostel.

“I try to come out to Festa Joker’s at least twice a month, depending on the guest performers,” says Carlos, a university student living in Botafogo. “When my friends visit from other countries during the summer vacation, I bring them along as well.”

Rio is no stranger to big name U.S. Hip Hop artists, with 50 Cent here recently, and Fab 5 Freddy here last year for the tenth and final Hutuz Rap Festival to help promote the music genre in Brazil.

Mims is coming up with some hot new videos, and here to see what can get on in the Marvelous City. The music isn’t for everyone, but fans will have a hard time finding a more authentic Hip Hop vibe this weekend in Rio.

Place: Clandestino Mex, Barrata Ribeiro 111, Copacabana
Price: R$30
Contact: Tel: (21) 7842-2449 Babi
Time: doors open at midnight


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