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Afro-Brazil 2014: Pearls Negras' War Cry 'Guerreira'

Rio de Janeiro's Pearls Negras release new track 'Guerreira'


As we gear up for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil 2014, we’ll be taking moments to highlight some select Brazilian tracks that come across our desks. From capoeira music (an accompaniment to the sport) and maracatu to samba and the favela-bred baile funk, the influence of African cultures & sounds on the South American nation’s own arts is immeasurable. In our series Afro-Brazil 2014 we’ll be digging into a few of these ‘ritmos e batidas’ from Brazil.

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After making waves with last year's Biggie Apple mixtape, Brazil's Pearls Negras are gearing for world domination in this music video for "Guerreira." The teen rap trio — comprised of Alice, Jeni and Mari — rep their neighborhood to the fullest as they unleash rapid-fire Portuguese bars over a  heavy, staccato-bass beat that volleys between funk carioca, EDM and trap. Verdant hillsides and lush coastlines serve as a backdrop as Pearls Negras ride around their home of Vidigal, Rio de Janeiro promoting their battle cry single. We can't wait to experience more of their explosive sound and energy. Watch the video for 'Guerreira' and stream Pearls Negras' Biggie Apple mixtape below.

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(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Ethic's Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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