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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

A Filial

By Ernest Barteldes
Published October 21, 2008


What distinguishes Brazilian hip-hop from its American counterpart is that they are happy to incorporate elements of Brazilian music into their beats. A good example of this is Rio de Janeiro's A Filial. Here "Aqui Se Faz Aqui Nao Paga" ("What Is Done Here Is Not Paid For") has more of a samba feel, blending electronic beats with acoustic guitar and cavaquinho (a mandolin-like four-stringed instrument). American-born member Ben Lamar exemplifies how the laid-back Rio rap compares to his native Chicago as he exchanges his English verses with founder Edu Lopes on "Brown Sueter" (Portuguese for "sweater"). While Lamar delivers his verses with more of an angry urban edge, Lopes seems to do it while relaxing on the beach. Clearly another great example of how Brazil takes foreign genres and makes them their own.