Rappin' Hood

Sujeito Homem, Vol. 2

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On this dazzling follow-up to his first album, Sujeito Homem, Rappin' Hood continues on the same path, mixing hip-hop with samba combined with his typical, powerful lyrics full of statements about life in general and social issues in particular. Confirming Rappin' Hood's status (together with Black Alien) as the most talented rapper in Brazil, several very distinguished guest artists showed up to participate on this record. Caetano Veloso breaks the rap with his beautiful '70s classic "Odara" on the excellent "Rap du Bom, Pt. 2," while Gilberto Gil performs his own "Andar com Fé" on the equally compelling "Axé." Zélia Duncan, singing a passage out of Candeias' beautiful samba ballad "Preciso Me Encontrar," lends her deep, potent, and instantly recognizable voice to the tough yet touching "Zé Brasileiro." Other artists that appear are Martin, Arlindo Cruz, Jair Rodrigues, Mário Sérgio, Maria Fernanda, Exaltasamba, and Dudu Nobre. On "Us Guerreiro," another very strong track, Rappin' Hood brings up the subject of poverty and social injustice that many black Brazilians suffer still today. "Rap o Som da Paz" is a clever observation on some of the clichés of rap music and also, as the song title indicates, an exhortation to peace and non-violence. Even for someone who doesn't understand a word of the non-English lyrics, the bone-crunching hip-hop beats mixed with rattling samba drums and beautiful melodies are quite enough to fully enjoy this great hip-hop album. Rappin' Hood's style and way of expressing himself emphasizes the fluency and rhythm that is built into the Portuguese language. For the Portuguese-speaking listener, there is of course another dimension to the album, as Rappin' Hood manages to talk about well-known subjects such as social injustice, racism, violence, peace, and the responsibilities of raising a family without ever sounding as if he were lecturing the listener or repeating truisms. Rappin' Hood possesses a rare, natural charisma as a rapper, which makes him sound very convincing in that he believes in the message he is expressing.

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