Rapper Rincon Sapiência talks current state of Brazilian Black Music and more
The 31 years old rapper Rincon Sapiência is a rising star within the Brazilian music scene.
His recent hit “Ponta de Lança (Verso Livre)” released in december last year, quickly attracted attention from the public and from the media with his music video going viral reaching millions of Youtube views.
Standing out with his social awareness in his rap while he brings influences from african, jamaican and rock to his sound. Being a producer himself the EP “SP Gueto BR”, with eight official tracks and two bonus tracks largely was produced by himself.
Being big fans of Brazilian music we reached out to Rincon to find out more about him and the current state of Brazilian black music.
Did you expect your latest hit song “Ponta de Lança (Verso Livre)” would be received in such way and eventually become viral?
When I got the song finished, I knew it had something different that would attract attention, but how quickly the song was accepted in fact was surprising. I believe that establishing a dialogue between rap and Brazilian funk in the way I did was another detail that grabbed people’s attention, so I consider I was avant-garde by exploring those mixtures.
You’ve been gaining a lot of attention in Brazil with your sound where the focus is on lyrics, what do you believe is the reason behind that?
I believe that both the lyrics and the musical part counted a lot. Rap is having a very good acceptance all over Brazil, it’s been expanding out of Rio de Janeiro/São Paulo’s route for a while, but in some ways it’s still a rhythm that sounds new to many. So the fact that the song “Ponta de Lança” has a rhythm with percussions, is a dancing tune, its rhymes are fun and provocative, its references quote personalities of our daily life, this whole set made the Brazilian people in their diversity identify with the music.
Brazilian music coming from the black population has always been setting the trends and eventually becoming accepted into the mainstream such with Funk, Samba etc. Do you still think it is still relevant today and important now with the internet being so accessible?
Yes, Bossa Nova, for example, isn’t MPB or jazz or samba, it’s a set of those things. The Brazilian funk follows the same line, it’s a singular rhythm, it isn’t rap or Miami Bass, it has a similar cadence to maculele (capoeira’s rhythm), it’s a set of those. But by the fact of been a rhythm that comes out from the ghettos it has never got glamour around it, to recognize that a new musical genre was created in Brazil. So considering that the people’s voice has relevance, the internet showed mainly in numbers that it was something that moves the mass and today Brazilian funk is part of the mainstream of Brazilian music. So I would say that the internet contributes a lot to the rise of Brazilian black music.
What made you decide to focus on a music career?
Since I’ve started a band in high school with fifteen years, I never stopped composing and thinking of rap. Every place I’ve worked never instigated my will to be an above-average professional. Unlike in rap, I really enjoy the street and the music. It hindered my concentration on the places I’ve worked at. In 2010 I left my last formal job to dedicate myself to a musical career. It happened when we released the music video “Elegância” and we were nominated to the Brazilian MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMB) of that year. It was a moment of redemption, work and dreams.
What are some of you musical influences?
By doing Rap, which is a global genre, I like many things from the United States and Europe. But nowadays I’m enjoying a lot the Brazilian contemporary music, Brazilian funk and samba have been making my mind, the young rap generation around here has been also very enthusiastic to me, in other words, my ears are paying full attention to national productions.
Where would you like to travel too?
The African continent instigates me for its history and music mainly. When we get to know Africa we know ourselves better as black Brazilians. I already traveled to Senegal and Mauritania and I loved it, I want to go back there and also to meet other countries of the African continent. But thinking about market, structure, I want to know Europe, places like Paris and London, which have a strong African presence, a hotter market in music and fashion – that I like a lot. Anyway, I believe that the way I make music crosses the oceans around my country, I’m ready to tour this planet around.
How does the upcoming months look like for you?
I’m optimistic. I have my album “Galanga Livre” to be released soon, participations in other artists’ projects and more. Considering that the year has just began, I believe that we will work a lot in the following months.