Afropop Classic July 29, 2021
Rap, Reggae and Cultural Resistance in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Belo Horizonte is Brazil’s sixth largest city and, including its surrounding districts, the country’s third-largest metropolitan area. The capital of Minas Gerais, a state built on mining, dairy products and coffee production, Belo Horizonte is often seen as a parochial, conservative backwater, yet its thriving alternative arts scene provides robust forms of musical and cultural resistance to the exclusionary policies of reactionary president, Jair Bolsonaro, especially through local variants of hip-hop and reggae.

Produced in Belo Horizonte by David Katz, this program explores the intricacies of the city’s homegrown resistance movements, based in squatted buildings and public spaces in the city center and peripheral favelas on the outskirts. It reveals the surprising complexities of the renowned Belo Horizonte rap scene, which is intricately linked to improv theater and urban poetry movements, with a revived carnival culture, African-Brazilian candomblé and baile funk all part of the local form’s very distinctive musical backdrop; the smaller reggae scene also addresses issues such as social exclusion, income disparity, racial bias, gender discrimination, transphobia and environmental crises. In the show, we’ll hear from rappers such as Roger Deff, Samora Nzinga and the left-field duo of Hot e Oreia, as well as Leo Vidigal of the Deska Reggae sound system and Zaika dos Santos of Salto, the city’s first female-run sound; Tiago Lopes of the Rastafari collective Roots Ativa and former rapper Kdu dos Anjos and guide us through the permaculture and upcycled fashion projects they have established in the massive favela complex of Aglomerada da Serra, providing employment and social integration to some of the city’s most disenfranchised residents.

Produced by David Katz April, 2020.

All images copyright by David Katz.


The music from the episode, the order it appears. 

  1. “Vida Que Vem” by Roger Deff, from Etnografia Suburbana CD, Roger Deff label
  2. “Na Gloria” by Grupo Choro de Mercearia, recorded live at Butiquim do Walter, Belo Horizonte, October 29, 2019
  3. “Untitled” by Colombiana vs Dozi (final round), Duelo de MCs, recorded October 13, 2019
  4. “Wakanda” by Tamara Franklin, digital single, Tamara Franklin label
  5. “Saidas E Bandeiras No. 2” by Milton Nascimento, from the LP Clube Da Esquina, Odeon SMOAB 6005
  6. “Altered State” by Sepultura, from the CD Arise, Roadracer RO 9328-2
  7. “Sobre O Tempo” by Pato Fu, from the CD Gol De Quem?, PluG 7432123777-2, reissued by BMG/Ariola
  8. “Rap Reciso” by Flavio Pereira, from the compilation LP Fabrica Ritmos, Black White Records BW 006
  9. “Dulcenira” by União Rap Funk, from Funk Brazil Remix II EP, Polydor 2801 546
  10. “Autoridades Imcompetentes” by Black Soul, from the CD Trafico, Morte e Corrupção, Atração Fonográfica ‎– ATR 21032
  11. “Caos” by Julgamento, from the CD No Foco Do Caos, Julgamento label
  12. “O Poder Da Palavra” by Julgamento, from the EP Muito Alem, Julgamento label
  13. “Controle” by Julgamento, from the CD Boa Notie, Julgamento label
  14. “O Mesmo Processo” by Roger Deff, from the CD Etnografia Suburbana, Roger Deff label
  15. “Diaspora” by DV Tribo, digital single, Casa 1 Records
  16. “Estilo” by Hot e Oreia, from the digital album Rap de Massagem, Hot e Oreia label
  17. “Eu Vou” by Hot e Oreia ft Djonga, from the album Rap de Massagem, Hot e Oreia label
  18. “Pistão” by Coletivo Dinamite, from the digital EP Pistão, Coletivo Dinamite label
  19. “Bank” by Samora Nzinga (featuring Bruno Fred), from the digital album Primeiro Plano, Samora Nzinga label
  20. “Quadro Negro” by Samora Nzinga and Guardião, from the digital album Primeiro Plano, Samora Nzinga label
  21. “Baoba” by Samora Nzinga, from the digital album DAAT, Samora Nzinga label
  22. “Moçambique” by Samora Nzinga, from the digital album DAAT, Samora Nzinga label
  23. “Sambasambado” by Zaika dos Santos & Dubalizer, from the digital album Akofena, Audiofya Records
  24. “Saone Dub” by Leal Sound System featuring Zaika
  25. “O Que E O Amor” by Zaika and Dubalizer
  26. “Mamaue” by Zaika dos Santos
  27. “Descendente De Leão” by Likkle Jota, DeSka Reggae dub plate
  28. “Untitled” from Bruno Dub’s Som de Reggae mixtape
  29. “Contos de Fada” by Kdu dos Anjos
  30. “Sete Fluidos” by Iconili, from the album Quintais, Iconili label

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