Blog March 23, 2021
VHOOR Digs Up Baile Funk’s Roots With “Ritmo”

Like most club music, Brazilian baile funk can trace its roots to physical drums pounded in physical space, but those have long since been set aside in pursuit of ever-bigger beats—really the quickest baile funk origin story is one of Brazilians running everything they could get their hands on through Miami bass. But Belo Horizonte producer VHOOR is bringing baile funk back to its roots, or even before. On the latest single, “Verde,” which was released today, VHOOR, brings in the rootsy percussion and rhythms of samba de coco together with the slower reggaeton-inflected branch of baile funk, rasteirinha.

VHOOR has been on a tear over the last year (considering all that’s going on: good for him!), and his releases, Baile and Drip, Baile and Sauce, Baile and Trill, were about connecting baile funk to the wider world of club music—trap, drill and hip-hop. Ritmo is about connecting baile funk to other Brazilian music. “Verde” follows his collaboration with the rapper FBC, Outro Rolê, which merged samples of candomblé and umbanda hand percussion into baile funk forms.

A hip-hop-enamored producer latching on to the distinct shuffling rhythm of samba de coco is especially enticing—as it was traditionally played in the north of Brazil, samba de coco had repente challenges, poetic improvisations that are, in concept, not too different from rap battles. Led by Maga Bo, a producer also working where traditional and electronic musics collide, Kafundo Records released an electronically inflected selection of songs from the Pernambuco ensemble Samba De Coco Raizes de Arcoverde in 2018, retaining their foot-stomping and pandeiro percussion.

“Verde” is pretty sedate by VHOOR's standards and it’ll be interesting to tune in on April 2 when the full Ritmo album is released.

Afropop Weigh in on Afropop's digital future and download an exclusive concert from the archives—free!