Release Date: Available Now
Director: Leandro HBL, Wesley “Diplo” Pentz
Cinematographer: Leandro HBL
Starring: James Mason, Barbara Rush
Studio: Mad Decent
The hills are alive with the sound of booty music
At one point in this documentary about the music of Rio de Janeiro’s hillside favela ghettos, one man teases another for being fancy and owning an outdoor shower. It’s a reminder of the slums’ overwhelming poverty, and the gallows humor necessary to cope with living there. That spirit underpins the music of the favelados, a genre known as baile funk or funk carioca, which makes 2 Live Crew seem relatively chaste. Built around pounding Miami-bass beats and characterized by salacious Portuguese lyrics, baile funk delivers the thrill of late-’80s hip-hop and the bawdy one-upmanship of a comedy roast. Favela On Blast is the story of how the music originated and spread, parachuting viewers into the favelas to meet a charming cast of funk MCs and DJs. Some of them use music to celebrate favela life; others see it as a ticket out.