Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Skillz to take Brazil tour stop: Rap Compromisso-Alvorada
Its around midnight in Brazil, and I'm on the island of Florianapolis, listening to Illmatic. Pretty appropiate as I reflect on the unofficial final performance of the tour. Nas has been considered a street poet and the quintessential emcee, and in its own way this tour has been as much a story of the streets and the essential elements of this culture.
With the tour winding down most of the time had been spent after are legendary marathon session with Nego, reflecting and listening to Little City (peace Alessio....). Prego had told us before we left Bom Jesus that there was a possibility of us performing with him for a big festival in another favella on Sunday. Sure enough, Prego hit us up Sunday and came through to whisk us away to Rap Compromisso or Rap Compromise an all elements show in a Favella named Alvorada. After a quick pick up of Prego's dj and producer we headed to a large outdoor stage right across from a school.
Rap Compromisso is an all elements show that brings emcees,b-boys,writers,and heads from all over southern Brazil to represent. Think a smaller version of Rock Steady. It was pretty crazy to see all the B-boys and people completely loving the music. Sam and I spent a lot of time in the crowd, freestyling. So many of the heads seemed to gravitate to me. Since Ive been here there has been a kinship shared between myself and the brown people of this country. We share a heritage and they are very aware of it. Between verses I was asked about discrimination and Obama. The young heads told me about their own trials dealing with race. It was crazy, humbling,empowering and frustrating all at the same time. Not only did we have hip hop in common, but this shared struggle and burden on a level, no one really understands. Beyond the impressiveness of the energy and love for the music that they have, Im leaving with a sense of brotherhood that Im happy to have found.
So, finally after about four plus hours of waiting our turn was up. We actually debuted earlier with KBE and Abolitionista but this was our official turn. I forgot to add that their was a sign-up list and most acts were limited to a couple songs. We got on a little past primetime but it was all good....we got to rock with Prego, bust some frees and really connect.
Shouts to SME Crew, Jefferson, Franklin and Nego Prego for once again showing us the real and the true essence of Brazilian Hip Hop. In the Southern Hemisphere they are about skillz, true stories and community. They represent the history and the culture to the fullest. So here we are on the back end and I think I will do one final reflection, and then the video blog..... which really will be about the second half of Porto Alegre and final breakdowns. Stay tuned......WHHHHOOOOOO HHHAAAAAA