Different styles of Baile Funk

Even though to western ears it all might sound pretty much the same, in Brazil baile funk has different styles inside the genre. It’s no wonder since the division is made pretty much by the content of the lyrics, not how the music actually sounds like. The four categories baile funk styles are normally devided into are funk sensual, funk melody, funk realidade and montagem.

Funk sensual is the most popular of the styles. It includes all the slackness; the most openly sexual and nasty stuff, including putaria. The lyrics are often straight forward ”advices” of how the girls should shake their booty. (”down to the floor winding slowly, put your hands on your knees and throw your ass up” etc.) Some of the songs are cleaned up of all the dirty words for radio, but everybody knows the nasty versions anyway and sings them out loud when ever a song is played. But it’s not only men who sing putaria; some of the most dirty and sexual songs are sung by women like Tati Quebra Barraco and Deise Tigrona. Singers, mcs and groups doing funk sensual are many, but here are some names to check out: Mr Catra, Os Ousados, Os Hawaianos, Os K-rrascos, Vanessinha do Picatchu, Gaiola das Popozudas, As Experiementas, As Divinas, As Tchutchucas, Bonde do Tigrão, Bonde do Vinho and Bonde Neurose.

Funk melody is a soft, romantic, melodic style of singing baile funk. The lyrics normally deal with love and passion and the beats might be softened with acoustic guitars. It’s suitable for radio play, tv and also for children. Dj Marlboro, who calls it funk novo (new funk) is pushing the style forward introducing new artits all the time. One of the forefathers of the style is a slick artist called Latino and nowadays artists like Perla, Leozinho, Marcihno and Andinho are popular. For many of the old school funkeiros, funk melody isn’t real funk, but only a try to please white and middle class audiencies, neglecting the roots of baile funk of favelas. Any how the style is getting ever more popular in Brazil.

Funk realidade is the harshest and the most hard edged of the styles. Into this category fall all the gun lyrics about ghetto violence and suffering, all the songs about the inhuman living standards favela dwellers have to face. Many of the songs also deal openly about the drug traffic and the factions and insert not so convinient truths about police brutality and that’s mainly why most of funk realidade is also proibidão (highly prohibited) and it’s is forbidden to record, make, sell or even listen to it (and you can get fined by doing so). The name funk realidade (reality funk) suggests the this problematics of the proibidão in brazilian society; the people against such lyrics insist they are an ode to the drug factions and violence and there as encouraging young kids to become outlaws. Where as the artists and the funk audiencies consider they are only showing to the elite the reality of the favelas. But I’ll deal more of that controversy is another post. Even though many artists sing proibidão geared to the favela audiencies along with other styles, the main contributors to the style are pretty much Menor do Chapa, Mr Catra, MC Galo, Duda do Borel, Cidinho & Doca, MC Sapão and MC Sabrina to name some.

Montagem translates pretty much to remix and this is where the DJs step into the front row (though besides that DJs do also all the production and the beats for the MCs and singers). Baile funk remixes are made very simply with loops and samples in a colláge style. When a song comes out by an MC it’s already in the first place kind of an interpretation by a DJ. Then when it becomes popular, pretty much all other DJs also do their version of it. Then there are the classic vocal samples and gunshots everyone uses. Those with recording studio devices can call up the artists to do specials in a dubplate style, but most of the DJs trade vocal samples with each other and most are recorded from live preformances. Nowadays most of Rio’s established DJs also do live montagem with MPCs. Some of the best DJs putting out remixes include Sandrinho, Sany Pitbull, Grandmaster Raphael, Edgar, Dennis, Marlboro, Eliel Campos, Cabide, Jefferson and Mancha.


Anonymous said...



brightonik said...

I would say this is slightly incorrect. The sub-genres of Funk Carioca are generally classed into 'funk light' (meaning edited for radio or legal parties); 'funk proibidão' (funk played in the favelas with lyrics centred around guns, gangs and fucking; 'putaria' funk that solely talks about fucking and smut and "funk antiga" which is the more dated, Miami Bass sounded stuff with lots of singing about love and telling stories. Not really so much of the latter around unfortunately.

Leo Justi said...

yeah, i dont really have so much contact with the whole favela world, but i live in rio.
We say 'funk putaria', 'funk proibidão', 'funk melody' and 'funk das antigas'. though i heard of 'funk realidade' somewhere around here...