The meteoric rise of young funk musicians


They are young, rich, famous, wear jewelry and designer clothes and buy imported cars and supped-up motorcycles. And believe it or not, they don’t play football. The rise of ‘light’ funk on the charts is creating a generation of MCs and dancers who, often, earn their first R$1 million before they come of age.

In line with pancadão which makes the middle class ‘hit the floor’, a wave of new artists fill their piggy banks at a speed that few professions allow. And that money allows them a new level of consumption.

For starters, the fee begins at R$1,000. Not bad for those who do up to 15 shows in a single weekend. From there, the progression is geometric. If the song, as well as making the rounds on social networks, plays on the radio, the fee jumps to R$10,000. And when they’re on top, as what happened with the singer Naldo, a single performance can yield R$250,000.

Weddings and debutante balls on the schedule

Doing shows is not the only source of income for funkeiros, who have busy schedules of performances at weddings, debutante balls and agricultural fairs, earning paychecks starting at R$5,000/show. Arriving at ‘Olympus’, however, does not mean abandoning their roots. Money to live at more sophisticated addresses is not lacking, but an MC on the rise will rarely give up their community. Nego do Borel, for example, already has an imported fancy car, but he still lives in the favela. His family home, though, has been renovated.

Viviane Queiroz, 18, MC Pocahontas, is building her mother a duplex with a pool in Campos Elíseos, in Caxias, where she was born and raised. An exponent of funk ostentation, she is able to spend R$10,000 at handbag stores. Before diving into consumerism, however, she had one concern:

– Three months after becoming an MC, I told my mother that she would no longer need to work as a maid because I was going to support her. I want to give her the best.

The mother, Marinês de Queiroz, 48, is proud to have faced criticism when allowing her daughter, then a minor, to become a funkeira:

– I was right when I let her follow her dream.

Brunninha, the Princess of Funk, has a different story. A young woman, aged 19, she lives with her mother and two brothers in Tomás Coelho. The fame has not changed where she lives, but it has altered, and by lots, the quality of family life thanks to the shows.

– My family comes first – she says.

In the case of MC Jean, 19, from Rocinha, helping his mother is also a priority. However, with an eye on a more solid future career, he invested part of his paychecks in artistic training. Jean is an exception because he didn’t quit school, like many young people:

– I take voice and guitar lessons. After high school, I think about college.

Source (PT)

Salvador Shopping forgets apartments

Salvador Shopping just began adding 201 new stores, bringing the grand total to 461 stores within the soon to be 298 meters sq. property (from its current 180 meters sq.). The parking complex will also be amplified, going from 4.2 thousand spaces to 6 thousand. Costwise, R$150 million is being invested with the new additions, which when added to the original cost, will total R$500,000,000. I think the only thing they forgot to add are apartments inside the mall.

Salvador has no shortage of malls (or shoppings, as they are called in ‘Portuguese’). The city is served by: Aeroclube Plaza Show, Caboatã Shopping, Casa Shopping Cidade, Out Let Center, Salvador Shopping, Shopping Baixo Dos Sapateiros, Shopping Barra, Shopping Boulevard 161, Shopping Brotas Center, Shopping Center Iguatemi, Shopping Center Lapa, Shopping Do Pelô, Shopping Imbuí Plaza, Shopping Itaigara, Shopping Orixás Center, Shopping Piedade, Shopping Sumaré.

My Take

Isn’t there something better to spend 500 million reals on? Education? Community-based projects like participatory budgeting? I find malls overrated and useless, much like my opinion of consumerism itself. They destroy the mom and pop stores and amalgamate the population against individualism and self-sustainability, not to mention turning them into zombies, fascinated by the bright lights and shiny things. If a product made anyone happy, as the marketing suggests, no one would need any other product for the rest of their life. Consumerism is nothing more than modern-day enslavement. I think Salvador already went through that in the colonial times.

Child, The Name of the Game

We all know I like documentaries….and there’s a fairly disturbing yet interesting documentary out now in Brazil called ‘Criança, A Alma do Negócio’ (which roughly translates to ‘Child, The Name of the Game’). Its a study done on propaganda and children and it presents both professors and children themselves speaking about consumerism. Everyone knows technology enforces the problem, unless you’ve been living in a jungle (oh, wait…nevermind…jungle included).

Who I’m against are those who just give in and allow their children to be babysat by the television and to play online for hours at a time, not to mention buying them the latest Chinese-made product of the moment. After all, if one product really made someone happy, that same person would never need any other product for the rest of their life….sadly, things don’t bring happiness and buying the newest thing-a-ma-jig doesn’t make for a good parent. In one scene in particular, a mother with a hard-to-hide grin on her face tells the camera that her daughter (after her fourth cell phone by age 11 or so), is an extreme consumer. How can anyone be proud of that? 

In another instance, a professor says “these days what matters is the quantity of what you have rather than the difference in what you have (versus the other person),” while another professor says “the passport to enter a social group in school is to have this brand or that brand, while in the old days what mattered as far as social passports go, were the abilities you possessed…such as how well you played a sport or how good you were at telling jokes.”

As far as consumerism in general within Brazil, the country ranks very high in worldwide terms of hours of TV watched per child, money spent on beauty products, percentage of household items bought for children, etc. At one point, a teacher says “by age 4 or 5, the girls are using makeup”. I find that pretty disturbing too as scientifically women use makeup to replicate natural occurences of a biological cycle…which is definitely something children should not be imitating.

Think about this, if so many children the world over want the same exact things in the same colors, in the same way…thats not simply because they are children, its because the propaganda is being heavily directed towards them.  In two experiements in the documentary, the children are shown fruits and told to name them (they fail), and then are shown packaged popular goods with the names blocked out (they pass). The other experiment revolves around them being shown animals versus famous brand logos minus the actual name…guess which one they always get right. Here’s the trailer…in PT

If you wanted to see the documentary now, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was on Youtube too.