Meet Emicida, ascending Brazilian rapper

PR photo by EmicidaMC/Flickr

Emicida, a growing star in the Brazilian rap landscape, is known for his prodigious capacity of winning rap improvisation duels and for his shameless mix of rhythms (as a child, he was exposed both to evangelical temples, with their chants, and afro-brazilian religons, with their rhythm and drums). He also favors topics that are not common in Brazilian rap (or in any rap). Unlike many of his colleagues, such as pioneer rappers Racionais MCs and MV Bill, he is moderate in his complaints about poverty and violence. Even if the poverty of his home shantytown is present in his songs – “Considering I bit a dog for food, I came a long way” -, Emicida is more interested in poetry and hope. In one of his raps, he says: “Eu não caminho em vão/ vô passando uns perrê/ é aquela velha história/ de ver o copo meio cheio” (“I don’t walk in vain/ live in difficulties/ but it is the old story/ seeing the glass half full”) .

But lots of his success comes from his independence and his clever marketing strategy. Both his CDs (“Financeiramente Pobre”, in 2003, and “Emicídio”, in 2010) were produced by independent recording studios and he is ready to release his third work – “Mais que Existir” – the same way. He believes in self-distribution and invests massively in Youtube and grassroots media to promote his raps.

In this cool video interview, subtitled in English, the rapper tells his story and explains the importance of the internet and marketing to promote his work. It was produced by The Creators Project (“a global network dedicated to the celebration of creativity, culture and technology”). It will give you a taste of his music, his story and the neighborhood in the outskirts of São Paulo where he was born.

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