Brazilian Fever

by on December 1, 2009

Posted in: Uncategorized

LIL JON – MACHUKA (feat. Mulher Filé & Mr Catra) prod by Kassiano from NOSSA on Vimeo.

While Lil Jon is generally revered for being a man of few words [What, Yeah, Hey, Ok], in his new track “Machuka” (out 2010) he proves himself capable of spitting some pretty heavy verses. The rapper trades his traditional hype shouts in for more coherent lyrics, establishing himself as an accomplished and versatile artist. One can’t help but speculate that Lil Jon’s inspiration comes from the unusual combination of beats that accompany his verses: the roots of this track trace back to funk carioca, a movement that originated in the favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The release of “Machuka” could mark the first appearance of Funk Carioca in the filtered and auto-tuned American mainstream. The collaboration of infamous Crunker Lil Jon with two established Brazilian artists–Mulher Filé & Mr Catra, both important figures in the baile funk movement–accentuates the cross-cultural appeal of “Machuka”.

Kassiano–the Brazilian/ American producer who has been promoting Brazilian culture for many years through his music and his company Nossa–was able to encapsulate the styles of all the artists while weaving together the intricacies of two different cultures. The first layer of an easily-recognizable euro-house beat from Steve Angello & Laidback Luke’s “Be” is accompanied by quintessential Brazilian percussions that make particularly strong appearances at the beginning and very end of the track. As these two styles combine into the driving backbeat of the track, Kassiano tops the mix off with a flawless meshing of the various vocals and languages. For a track that contains so much cultural contrast and so many different influences (Brazil vs. U.S.A., percussions vs. euro house beat, crunk, rap, funk carioca, male vs. female vocals, Portuguese vs. English), it’s coherent flow is as impressive as it is refreshing. Machuka’s insidiously infectious pop veneer ensures that it’s culture-clash complexity doesn’t take away from it’s bar-audience appeal: I’ll certainly be expecting to hear it along side of “Party in the USA”.

[ Stay on your toes for Lil Jon’s album Crunk Rock, set to drop in 2010 and keep an eye out for new things from Kassiano ]

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