In the year that hip hop celebrates its 50th anniversary, there are several activities that have taken place around the world to celebrate the existence of this culture that resists and echoes voices and stories that most of the time are not visible in the traditional spotlight.
One of these events was the artistic, musical and audiovisual show “Hip Hop at 50 years”, held on the stage of Sesc Pompeia, in São Paulo. The event featured important presences for the history and current affairs of hip hop culture in Brazil, which is celebrating 40 years of existence.
During the show, we spoke with the São Paulo rapper and poet Rincon Sapiência, also known as Manicongo, as he introduces himself in his music.
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For Rincon, hip hop is a lifestyle that values the self-esteem of individuals who have historically been marginalized. He also talks about the cultural industry, the influences of hip hop and rap on other cultures and musical genres and defends the importance of hip hop’s roots being strengthened.
In the middle of the interview, rapper, composer and producer Thaíde entered the dressing room and also left his statement to Brasil de Fato. Check out the conversation in full:
Brasil de Fato: Good evening Rincon, it’s great to be talking to you. I would like to know, in your opinion, what 50 years of hip hop represent for Brazil and the Brazilian people?
Rincon Sapiência: I think it represents, in addition to the four elements of hip hop culture, what was stated is that a lifestyle was established. So when you connect with hip hop you connect with racial and social issues, you start to be more challenging, you start to want to pay attention and question things more. You start to behave differently and this different behavior is the opposite of what we were conditioned to behave and think. So this whole style, which seems like just a bad thing, just a bad way of being, but in fact it has a whole context that emerges in the hoods where we were conditioned to not have a cool self-esteem and so on.
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So I think hip hop has become something that is beyond hip hop fans. So I see many signs of other musical styles that have to do with hip hop. I see a lot of hair styles, clothes, of people who sometimes don’t consume hip hop but are somehow connected. So I think that hip hop has truly established itself in Brazilian culture.
We’re at Sesc Pompeia, in São Paulo, where a rap, dance and street art show is taking place in honor of 50 years of hip hop culture. In your opinion, how important is this show for hip hop culture and Brazilian outskirts?
There are a lot of cool things about today’s event, but I think this generational diversity is very important. And also the diversity of elements of hip hop culture. So the spectator who is here today has the opportunity to connect with artists of a certain language, another artist who has much more history, more background, dance, poetry, DJ. So the fact of connecting the four elements of culture has made this event special, right? Including Thaíde, he… is a joke!
Thaíde: Just because I arrived, right? Sorry to intrude on this subject.
Rincon: So, getting into trouble?
Thaíde: Oh, it’s connected, right? It’ll be you soon, huh!
Rincon: Logo less…
Thaíde: Well, excuse me…
BdF: If you want to talk to us too…
Thaíde: What do you have to say? Talking bad about who there? What’s up…
Let’s talk about hip hop?
Thaíde: Talking about hip hop is talking about life, right. Talk about salvation, talk about intelligence, communion, respect. Talking about hip hop is talking about everything that is good and that fascist society doesn’t like. So I’ll be hip hop until after I die. Whether you like it or not. And Rincon is a great representative of this culture.
Rincon: How moral!
Thaíde: Thank you very much brother. “Come on, the sound can’t stop.” Good night and good work.
Rincon: Daora, that’s it! Are you leaving now? It’s OK. Good job, good run!
Thaíde: For you too!
How do you see yourself and hip hop in the music market and in the cultural industry?
It has a little to do with what I said earlier. I see hip hop signs being very strong in the music industry. Hip hop is what dictates the tone of pop music, for example, the style of singing, depending. I realize that even country music, at some point, brings some element that reminds us of trap, for example. And trap is a style of rapping, trap.
So I see everything connected to hip hop and what we can’t lose is the base. Because then hip hop starts to become very broad and other genres, other segments start to take advantage of these elements, these signs of hip hop. So, if there isn’t a solid base of hip hop, these things get lost.
Then it can happen that people imagine and say “oh this sound, this style of sound on the market is like pop, it’s like Anitta, it’s like Madonna, Lady Gaga”, but if you take the base it comes from the use of bass that you have been using, the 808.
Anyway, I think that hip hop, rap, right, which is a musical genre that is part of hip hop culture, is the most listened to music in the world. And, naturally, this influences all other musical genres. And to make it cooler and more interesting, this has to go back to hip hop fans, hip hop artists also need to enjoy all this success that the market has allowed and I think that this has been happening slowly.
Editing: Nicolau Soares