Bandits, Favelas and Utopia in Brazilian Funk

Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………220

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Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………220

Appendix: Lyrics of Funk ……………………………………………………………235

Bibliography ………………………………………………………………………….281


Funk in Brazil, a form of the popular culture from the favelas, or hillside slums, and other low-income neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro, is as multi-dimensional and ambiguous as the social reality from which it comes and is often misunderstood by outside observers and vilified in the media. Incorporating counter-cultural aspects of the international Black movement and world hip-hop and fusing them together with the culture of the favelas, funk has evolved into a rich musical form characterized by irony, complex masking and subversive messages and practices. To examine these practices in funk, I combine literary and cultural theory with social science hypotheses on the nature of the “social bandit” and the power of Rio’s drug gangs, as well as an ethnographic perspective mostly focusing on the community of the favela of Rocinha. After providing background on the climate of violence in Rio de Janeiro and discussing the social and economic organization of the community of Rocinha in general terms, I explore the nature of the baile funk, or funk dance, in favelas as a platform for the staging of the power of the drug traffickers. I also attempt to map out the ideological contours of the rule of criminal factions in the partially alternative social formation of the favelas, paying special attention to lyrics of a style of underground funk music know as proibidão, one of the principal practices through which the legitimacy of these drug traffickers is produced and lived. Finally, I examine the utopian character of funk as a form of entertainment as an example of the tendencies of ‘black Atlantic’ cultures of the African Diaspora. I also explore its similarities with Brazilian Modernismo, compare it to contemporary Carnival and situate it in the context of other styles of popular music in Brazil.


Brazilian funk has become immensely popular with young people from the favelas, or hillside slums, of Rio de Janeiro and the city’s other poor neighborhoods and has produced many talented artists, vibrant music, dances and shows. Incorporating counter-cultural aspects of the international Black movement and world hip-hop and fusing them together with the social formation, or culture, of these favelas, funk has evolved into a rich musical culture characterized by irony, complex masking and subversive messages and practices. As a form of the popular culture of favelas, funk in Brazil is as multi-dimensional and ambiguous as the social reality from which it comes and is often misunderstood by outside observers and vilified in the media. Since its beginnings in the 1980’s, its violent reputation and overt sexuality have made funk one of the most polemic musical practices in the world. In 2002, Rio’s funk was described in the New York Times as, “Perhaps the most controversial dance scene in the world…” (Strauss 29) Later that year the Washington Post also reported that:

The ‘funk balls’ of Rio are pantheons of pleasure and violence that have gained international renown as the world’s fiercest urban dance scene. Brazilian funk- inspired by the sounds and styles of American gansta rap and hip-hop but far more extreme than either- and the balls where it is played are the most controversial craze yet in Latin America’s largest nation. (Faiola C7)

On the surface, the obnoxiously loud funk, with its heavy Miami base style sound, cheap keyboards and low end drum machines, is deceptively childlike and simple. Vocal delivery is often rough and unpolished. Singers typically perform in duos, sometimes yelling, more than singing, in hoarse throaty voices, chanting out refrains reminiscent of the mass cheers at soccer games in the Maracanã stadium on the north side of Rio. The music is replete with samples of everything from machine gun fire and other explosions, to cows mooing, and digitally altered voices. The lyrics of funk appeal to violence and raw sexuality one moment, then brotherly love, peace and faith in God the next. Beneath the surface of the apparent disregard for originality and taste, however, funk is a weapon in a postmodern war, it is at once heroic and delinquent, a cry of protest and resistance, an apology of crime, a vulgar and sexualized commodity and a call to love, fight and live.

In the year 2002, events surrounding the murder of O Globo reporter Tim Lopes, discovered by drug traffickers as he filmed their activities inside a funk dance in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, reinvigorated the debate about the growing crisis of violence and social exclusion in Brazil. In the light of this debate, this study attempts to map out the ideological contours of the partially alternative social formation of the favelas, combining social science and criminological theories on the nature of the “social bandit” and the power of Rio’s drug gangs with a cultural approach emphasizing the practice of proibidão funk music as one of the principal ways through which their legitimacy is produced and lived. The bandits that govern Rio’s favelas, and the culture of favelas in general, are neither revolutionary nor purely consumerist, nor are they “parallel” to the Brazilian State. In important ways, they are an extension of the status quo order in Brazil, both economically and ideologically, even as they reject its authority on a formal level. In the end, the revolt that has given rise to the culture of drug trafficking, and the proibidão funk that glorifies it, is an outgrowth of the gross economic disparity in Brazil and the partially alternative ideological space of the favela in which the bandits are constructed as quasi-messianic reformers of a paternalistic order. Still, proibidão funk, a sort of “prohibited,” underground style of illegal gangster funk performed live at funk dances and found on pirated recordings available only in favelas, and the culture of the drug traffickers it portrays and glorifies are not the only important aspects of funk. Beyond the question of violence and crime, funk is a powerfully utopian musical practice born of the remarkably fluid hybridity of the favelas and the politics of transformation characteristic of African Diaspora peoples. These dimensions of funk give it a common ground with other utopian cultural forms in Brazil such as modernismo, Carnival and Brazilian hip-hop, connections I shall explore in the final chapter of this study.

This study consists in four chapters, a conclusion, an appendix and a bibliography. In chapter one, “Writing about Funk in the Favela of Rocinha,” I attempt to explain the motives that have lead me to study funk music in Rio and a bit of my personal history in the Rocinha. I also offer a short summary of trends in contemporary Brazilian music and discuss funk in terms of these trends. Additionally, I comment on several important studies of funk and discuss the methodological procedures I employed in researching my study. Chapter two, “Funk, Favelas and Organized Crime,” provides an exploration of the nature of the control of favelas by drug trafficking gangs and a reading of the baile funk as a staging of their power. The chapter is presented in the context of the aftermath of the murder of journalist Tim Lopes, which took place in June of 2002, and the debate regarding the existence of a “culture of drug traffickers.” In particular, the ideas of Alba Zaluar, a well-known specialist on crime in Rio, are discussed. Chapter three, “The ‘Social Bandit’ in Funk,” is a more detailed exploration of the ideological formation of the power of the drug traffickers as it is represented in proibidão funk. Also included is a discussion of the representation of organized crime in funk as comparable to the notion of the social bandit developed by E. J. Hobsbawm in Primitive Rebels: Studies in archaic forms of social movement in the 19th and 20th centuries. There are also some close readings of some proibidão texts and an analysis of the ideological strategies of the drug gangs evident in them according to categories suggested by Terry Eagleton. In the fourth chapter I move from the question of violence and organized crime in funk and favelas to an exploration of its dimensions as a utopian cultural practice. In order to do so, I borrow the straightforward analytic framework employed by Richard Dyer in his influential article “Utopia and Entertainment.” Then, I use this analysis as the basis for a comparison between the practice of funk and contemporary Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Additionally, I explore the relationship of funk to the Brazilian modernismo movement that officially began in the 1920s, focusing on the tendency in both toward an aesthetics of antropofagia, or cultural cannibalism. Finally, I examine funk as an example of the utopian practices of the cultures of the African Diaspora, analyzing it in terms of what Paul Gilroy has referred to as the “politics of transformation” in The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness. The conclusion is intended as more of an afterword that brings my discussion of funk to a close, although it does reiterate the principal arguments and introduce some further conclusions. Finally, the appendix is comprised of lyrics of proibidão-style funk songs, and some non-proibidão songs by Táti Quebra-Barraco and other artists, typical of the other tendencies to be discussed.

Each of the four chapters and the conclusion are introduced by a short vignette intended to further contextualize my arguments in somewhat more vivid and personal terms. These are fictionalized accounts drawn from field research of dances, conversations and experiences living in Rocinha. While I have included only brief transcriptions of the actual interviews that took place, it is my hope that the voices of the many others who contributed will be audible in more subtle ways throughout. As for lyrics of songs, a certain fascination with the aesthetic and emotional impact of the original has lead me to include them in Portuguese within the body of my chapters. Although Spanish speakers will be able to make some sense of them, even an average native speaker of Brazilian Portuguese is likely to be unfamiliar with some of the gangland references and favela slang. Therefore I am including English translations of my own, in the endnotes. As academic Portuguese is more directly readable to speakers of Spanish, I have left many quotes of Brazilian scholars and other writers in Portuguese without any translation in the endnotes. In any event, in order to protect the composers and singers of the songs cited in this study, as little reference as possible will be made as to the authorship and performance of proibidão-style funk songs. Though each individual composer and singer is obviously different from the others and important in his or her own way, I will be looking at excerpts from songs as media texts, i.e., instances of the hegemonic discourse of the social order of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. It must also be remembered that these texts are the artistic productions of individual people living within the culture of favelas and as such the reflect the individual creativity of their authors in much more profound ways than I will be able to address here. For similar reasons, I have sometimes changed names of other people and places mentioned in my work in general.

Chapter One: Writing about Funk in the Favela of Rocinha
O meu Brasil é um país tropical

A terra do funk, a terra do carnaval

O meu Rio de Janeiro é um cartão postal

Mas eu vou falar de um problema nacional

-“Rap das Armas”, by MCs Leonardo and Júnior 1
Guns and Voices in the Via Ápia

Even at its calmest, the Via Ápia is the busiest, most commercial strip in the bustling neighborhood of Rocinha, the largest favela, or hillside slum, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. By day, the Via Ápia is run amuck with innumerable motorcycle taxis, trucks, cars, and bicycles, as well as thousands of pedestrians of all ages, shapes and sizes, going to or coming home from work or school. There are several bars and restaurants lining the street, as well as furniture stores, bingo halls, hair salons, and stands selling hot dogs or corn-on-the-cob. Buildings as many as five or six stories tall overlook the street, which gently slopes up the base of the mountain known as Dois Irmãos, or Two Brothers.

On Saturday nights, the local comando, or drug-trafficking gang, that controls Rocinha often sponsors an outdoor baile funk dance right in the middle of the Via Ápia. Stacks of fifteen-foot high speakers, hundreds of feet long, line one side of the narrow street. Several thousand young people crowd the Via Ápia, circling to and fro through the masses in long trains, moving up and down the strip as the speakers blast music loud enough to rattle the glass out of some nearby windows. Just in front of the speaker columns, groups of kids as young as ten and eleven perform choreographed dance moves. Although most actual funkeiros, or fans of funk music, are young, the enormous baile is a sort of community street festival that attracts people of all ages. Older folks crowd the openings of the bars facing the street and in adjacent alleys. The baile in the Via Ápia is typically hot and humid, despite being outside, and the air hangs thick on the crowd, filled with smoke, gasoline exhaust and the smell of bodies.

Joy and expectation also hang in the air, as people with smiling faces pass by shouting the words to the music, chanting and swaying sensually to the songs. The funkeiros sing of everything from love to crime, from social problems to the beauty of favelas and other poor neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro. At the baile, most girls wear miniature lycra shorts, strapless tops called tomara-que-caia, or “hope it falls”; others dress in skirts both tight and low on the hips, or the semi-elastic Gang brand jeans. Boys wear Bermuda shorts, tennis shoes, baseball hats and surf wear, either bare-chested or with Gracie jiu-jitsu shirts or soccer jerseys, hair short, often bleached, or even shaved. The heavily armed “soldiers” of the comando can be seen wading through the crowd or standing in the openings of alleys, dressed the same but brandishing AK-47s, AR-15s, shotguns, UZIs. The gangsters talk in groups as they eye the crowd, keeping watch and swaying to the beat of funk. On nights of the bailes in Rocinha, the heavy base of the music can be heard all night long booming up the slopes of the favela.

With its population estimated at over 120,000, Rocinha is considered one of the largest of the more than 741 favelas in Rio.2 Due to its size and location in one of the richest parts of Rio, Rocinha receives considerably more attention from the city government than most other favelas and has grown commercially at an astounding rate over the last decade. Still, given the limitation of its physical space relative to its huge population, Rocinha is one of the most crowded, noisy places on Earth and remains sadly lacking in adequate sewage, water, electricity and educational resources. Police do little policing in the neighborhood and instead the local drug-traffickers of the Comando Vermelho, the largest group of organized crime in Rio, provide law and order. Rocinha has always been one of the most important communities for the movimento funk, or funk movement, as it is called. Many of funk’s most famous MCs come from Rocinha, like MC Galo, Neném, Gorila and brothers Leonardo and Júnior. Funk melody, a romantic bubble gum version of funk, is also important in Rocinha, which is the home of the composer Renato Moreno and the singer Charlys, who performs songs in Portuguese, Spanish, English, French and Hebrew. In addition, there are four major bailes held weekly in Rocinha, each one attracting thousands of funkeiros. The most famous is at the Emoções club, another at the old samba quadra, or practice hall, on top of the favela at Rua Um, one in the Valão area near the base of the hill and finally the baile in the Via Ápia described above.

Writing about Funk in the Favela of Rocinha

Several very strong motives lead me to study the culture of Brazilian funk. The fact that I have lived in Rocinha for some five years off and on since 1990 and maintain a permanent residence there to this day has been fundamental in my interest in funk in a variety of important ways. From the first time I lived in the community, as an undergraduate student doing an independent research project on organized crime, the residents of the favela made me feel welcome.3 As the years passed and my history and identity in the neighborhood evolved, I formed deep personal ties to my friends and neighbors that had a profound impact on me. Through extended stays in Rocinha in 1992 and 1995, research experiences (including a summer experience made possible by a grant from the Tinker Foundation in 1996, a graduate exchange at PUC-Rio in 2000, and field work in 2001, 2002 and 2003), and my deep involvement in co-founding and directing the Fundação Dois Irmãos with old friends in the favela in 1998, I have gone from starry-eyed visitor to community activist and adopted Rocinha as something of a permanent home. In stating this, I am not making any claims to have authority as a native of the community. I am not a native of Rocinha, but I am and have been a resident, even as I am and have been a US born cultural critic who is both middle-class and white. The favela is a fluid space of cultural hybridity, a hybridity characteristic of what Paul Gilroy calls the ‘black Atlantic’ cultures of the African Diaspora and one not unlike that evident in cultural studies themselves. Hopefully, in lieu of radical objectivity, the somewhat duplicitous perspective I have developed and my own “hybridity” will strengthen my analysis of the culture of favelas and of the practice of funk music in Rio de Janeiro.

In the years I have lived in Rocinha, a sort of epicenter for the funk movement, my opinion about funk has evolved. I remember being bemused at best in 1990 when I first heard the blatantly pornographic references of live funk songs ringing up the neighborhood to the roof of my first house in Rocinha, in the Rua Um area. When in 1995 I first bought a cassette of Pipo’s Volta do Homem Mau album, with MCs Willian and Duda’s famous “Rap do Borel (Rap da Liberdade)” on it, I found it cheap sounding and simplistic, as well as disappointingly “un-Brazilian.” Nonetheless, throughout the years I have spent in and around funk living in Rocinha, I noticed how significant funk was for so many people, how important the funk dances were, both in the streets and in the Emoções club, and I became steadily “funkified,” to borrow a phrase from George Yúdice in his well-known study of funk in Rio.4 Although I am most definitely “old” compared to the young people typically involved in funk culture, who normal fall within the ten to twenty-something age group, at this point I have been enjoying funk for years, going to the dances, and buying and listening to records at home. I also respect many MCs and DJs of funk, as well as dancers and composers and have come to associate funk with a very real sense of community in Rocinha.

In any case, of all the musical practices that form the cultural landscape of favelas in Rio, including other less polemic styles such as samba, pagode, forró, sertanejo and evangelical music, funk is presently one of two styles to embrace self-consciously the social reality of Rio’s poor as its origin and essence. The other is Brazilian hip-hop, a fascinating and energetic musical culture in its own right that deserves much more attention than it will receive in this study. In any event, at the heart of funk is the revolutionary affirmation of the strength and worth of folks in favelas and other poor people in Rio. Against those who would criticize funk as a banal, artless apology for crime, I have found the practice of funk as a culture, whether in writing and performing songs, working as a DJ, going to dances, wearing the clothes, buying the albums, or by any other means, to be a “significant” counter-cultural practice. The praxis of funk, in all the characteristic contradictions and incoherencies of postmodern youth culture movements, constitutes an oppositional and transformational social reality that has at its core the class and racial dissatisfaction of the residents of innumerous favelas and other poor neighborhoods in Rio. In Brazilian society, where the Globo network and its ilk bombard the spaces of mass culture with a constant flow of classist, racist and sexist texts and images, it is indeed rare to find a counter-hegemonic or alternative cultural movement that has the impact of funk. Chuck D of Public Enemy once said that hip-hop is the CNN of black folks. In the same way, it could be said that Rio’s funk, along with its cousin Brazilian hip-hop, are the Globo Network of folk from favelas, black, brown and otherwise. These styles present some of the most direct challenges to the authority of the consensus view of the dominant social order in Brazil today.

Furthermore, the persistent vilification of funk by the media throughout the years has aided in reproducing the same ideological basis for discrimination against Rio’s poor. As is evident in the above quotes from the Times and the Post, it is rare to see any mention of funk in the media, Brazilian or otherwise, that is not double edged at best. References are nearly always made to things such as “corridor of death”-style gang fights, organized crime recruitment of soldiers in the dances and violent gang slogans used as refrains of songs. This process of vilification is a symptom of the very deep and very strong prejudice against favelas and their residents that has been prevalent throughout Brazil. An anecdote will illustrate the point. Before moving to Rocinha in 1990, I had been living in a mansion in Rio’s chic beachfront São Conrado neighborhood. When I told dona Ilsa, the kindly, wealthy, white elderly woman with whom I had been living where I was moving, she asked me why, on Earth, I would want to live in a favela. I couldn’t move to Rocinha, she said, and surely I would be kidnapped, killed or worse! When I replied that I wanted to learn about the culture of the people in Rocinha, she laughed and informed me that, “ Those people don’t have culture!” I’m glad to say that this reaction has become less typical since 1990 when I tell other middle-class friends in Rio that I live in Rocinha. In any event, that the favelado, a pejorative term used in references to folks in favelas, has been constructed in Brazilian society as something of a second class citizen is at once obvious, well documented and predictable, as is the disdainful and neglectful treatment of the poor more generally.5 In my opinion, the vilification of funk is related in a significant way to the longstanding vilification of favelas and their residents in general.

Due to similarities between Brazilian funk and Brazilian hip-hop as black urban counter-cultural musical styles, the two styles are often studied together and talked about as if they were the same thing. It is important to clarify that such is not the case.6 In fact, the first people to say so will be adherents of the “hip-hop nation” in Brazil, which is much more self-consciously political than funk. Many adherents of Brazilian hip-hop, and indeed others of the world hip-hop culture originating in the US, reject funk as hip-hop’s ugly and illegitimate offspring. Brazilian hip-hop is perceived by them to be the musical arm of Brazil’s “movimento Negro,” or black movement, and an empowering critique of the system from the periphery. Funk, on the other hand, is denounced as a sort of musical bread and circus, a new opiate of the masses glorifying hedonistic sex and violence.7 In truth, Brazilian hip-hop does reflect a much more self-consciously political impulse even in its more “essentialist” understanding of racial identity and its tendency to construct Afro-Brazilian subjects explicitly as members of the world Black family. In funk, racial identity is constructed in a more complex and less bipolar fashion which is much less explicitly foregrounded in its practice. That the two movements are not one is further apparent in the process of vilification both have undergone. Brazilian hip-hop, which has most of its success in São Paulo, has certainly received its share of bad press and found itself at the center of controversy. Still, any vilification of hip-hop in Brazil pales in comparison to that which has occurred in the case of funk from Rio, a fact that raises the question of whether or not funk might, in some ways, represent an even greater challenge to the social reality of the dominant order, despite its less self-consciously political nature.

Nonetheless, while it is necessary to avoid lumping the two cultures into one, as do most scholars of Brazilian music, neither can they be completely separated. First and foremost, millions of everyday people participate in both cultural currents, both of which obviously speak to and about the experiences of poor folks in Brazil in the discursive struggle for symbolic terrain. Additionally, the questions of race and class are crucial to both forms and they are two of the principal cultural expressions of resistance of poor folks in Brazil. Both Brazilian funk and hip-hop are the legitimate offspring of the world hip-hop movement, two hybrid forms appropriated and practiced by poor folks in Brazil as two edges of a sword in the struggle of counter cultural politics. In fact, the hybrid nature of American and world hip-hop in general, and its openness to appropriate elements of other styles and cultures, is one of its most important characteristics, as Paul Gilroy repeatedly observes in his seminal work on the African Diaspora, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Such hybridity does not invalidate cultural practices, but is indeed one of their great strengths. John Fiske has noted some ways in which hybridity in popular culture is a fundamental characteristic making it crucial in the field of ideological negotiation:

The theory of popular culture that underlies this essay derives from the tradition of cultural studies. This school of thought agrees with all the criticisms of industrial capitalism sketched above (i.e., the commodification and massification of high art leading to a “middle-brow” conformist culture, destroying both high and popular culture and therefore any authentic human sense from which to criticize capitalist society) but disagrees with the claimed totality of their effectiveness. It accepts the accuracy of the diagnosis of the forces with which popular culture has to cope but rejects the assumption that people have no resources of their own from which to derive coping strategies, their own resistance and their own culture. Popular culture in industrial societies does exist, even though it may never be pure and authentic, for it is always made from cultural resources that are opposed to it, it is always contradictory and inscribed with traces of that to which it is opposed. It is always, then, a culture of struggle, a culture of making do rather than one of making. Popular culture is typically bound up with the products and technology of mass culture, but its creativity consists in ways of using these products and technologies, not in producing them.8

This “making do,” the hybrid nature of popular culture to borrow and expropriate elements from the ideologically ambiguous terrain of mass culture, is an element that lends power and creativity to subaltern communities. Therefore, instead of labeling either Brazilian funk or hip-hop as “inauthentic,” cheap imitations of American culture, or praising one form over the other as the legitimate heir to world hip-hop, the hybridity of both forms should be viewed as an essential dimension of their oppositional natures.

There is one final consideration that has led me to study the culture of funk in Brazil. It is often the case that scholars, particularly young and idealistic ones like me, seem to find revolution and resistance under every rock as they engage in the critique of culture and the analysis of politics. The title of the present work, Machine Gun Voices, may suggest that I am such a writer. For me, there is a very real war taking place in Brazil, albeit somewhat “post-modern” and undeclared, occurring mostly in the favelas and other poor neighborhoods of Brazil. In his important study of the increasing divide between social classes in Rio de Janeiro, Cidade partida, Zuenir Ventura defines the nature of this “post-modern war” which has intensified in the city:

A exclusão se transformou no problema social maior. Enquanto dos morros só se ouviam os sons do samba parecia não haver problema. Mas agora se ouvem os tiros. Não se trata de uma guerra civil, como às vezes se pensa, mas de uma guerra pós-moderna, econômica, que depende das artes bélicas mas também das leis do Mercado; é um tipo de comércio. Por isso não há solução mágica à vista. Sabe-se que é preciso destruir as "vanguardas"- os que praticam barbaridades, os traficantes de drogas- numa operação de força implacável. Exterminá-los, porém, talvez seja mais fácil do que desmontar o circuito econômico que os sustenta e cujas pontas- a produção e o consumo- não estão nas favelas (i).

In the most immediate sense, Ventura is referring to the economic circuit of the production and consumption of cocaine and other drugs, a circuit which passes through the favelas of Rio de Janeiro as drugs come in from other countries and are distributed to users who are not mostly from the favelas themselves. By linking the notion of unbalanced economic circuit to social exclusion, however, Ventura seems to suggest that the rise of the power of the drug traffickers in Rio’s favelas itself is a symptom of the failings of the larger system of consumer capitalism in Brazil in general, a system that has served to crystallize and worsen the distance between the country’s rich and poor. Ventura’s words are from the preface of Cidade partida, a book he wrote in 1994 after the massacre of 21 innocent residents of the favela of Vigário Geral by four police officers. The relevance of his observations only grows as the conflict between organized crime and the government has worsened since the writing of his book. After Tim Lopes’ death in 2002, and the subsequent police crackdown on drug gangs, a chain of events has unfolded in Rio that has marred the city with new forms of violence. The campaign of guerrilla tactics undertaken by organized crime has brought the debate about violence and social exclusion to a new level of intensity in which the demonization of both the populations of favelas and funk music has worsened. I do not wish for my study, especially the two chapters on the ideology of the culture of drug trafficking, to be taken as an apology for organized crime, nor as a romantic view of Rio’s criminals as heroic revolutionaries. I do see this work, as I see Ventura’s book, as a part of the debate as to just what kind of war is going on in Rio de Janeiro. Furthermore, by exploring aspects of the world of funk, I am attempting to examine some of the complex ways in which the culture of favelas involves the counter cultural strategies by people on the front lines of the struggle for symbolic terrain in the Brazilian hegemonic process.

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