Afro-Brazil 2014: Get To Know Favela Rap Crew Pearls Negras [NOWNESS Mini-Doc]

Brazil's Favela rap crew Pearls Negras star in a short documentary on NOWNESS from filmmaker Kayhan Ozmen.

As we geared up for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil 2014, we started 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 dig into a few of these ‘ritmos e batidas’ from Brazil.


Last time we heard from Brazil's Pearls Negras, the badass teen queens had just dropped the visuals to their female empowerment anthem, "Guerreira." Since then, they've prepped a follow-up to their stellar Biggie Apple mixtape and have plans to tour Europe and North America later this year. NOWNESS recently caught up with the rap crew in their hometown of Vidigal for a short interview film in which they discuss the hillside favela's newfound reputation as a creative hub and their transformation from being harassed as the weirdos in flamboyant clothes to being hailed as the new "it girls" of Rio de Janeiro's rap scene. In a brief Q & A that accompanies the Kayhan Ozmen-directed mini-doc, the childhood friends who met at a rap workshop in 2005 cite Nicki Minaj and fellow Brazilian rappers Karol Conka and Flora Matos as inspirations. The talented trio also share their thoughts on the controversy surrounding the World Cup. Get up to speed with Pearls Negras' fiery brand of baile funk by watching the short film and streaming their Biggie Apple mixtape below.

Catch our previous Afro-Brazil 2014 installments: The Digital Roots Music of Kafundó Vol. 1, Pearl Negras' War Cry 'Guerreira', Gilles Peterson Collective Sonzeira’s ‘Brasil Bam Bam Bam,’ Stromae’s Belgian World Cup Anthem “Ta Fete,” “Sango’s ‘Da Rocinha 2′ Takes Baile Funk Into Hip-Hop Territory,” Karol Conka’s Rap Anthem ‘Boa Noite, Buraka Som Sistema x Adidas Samba Collection ‘Bota, and Tropicália: A Film by Marcelo Machado.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

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