Thursday, September 18, 2008

Album Review: A Filial-$1.99

What do you get when you take the aggressive, tough mentality of Rio de Janeiro, the rhythm, flavor, and style of Brazilian samba, and the dance-floor shaking, hard-driving sensibility of American hip-hop? A Filial, Rio’s homegrown hip-hop posse that celebrates Brazilian culture while fusing it with hip-hop to incorporate it into a mainstream sound. Their first American full-length album, $1.99, is set to hit record stores nationwide December 15, 2008 on Verge Records.

Fifties bossa nova mixed samba with jazz, sixties tropic├ília mixed samba with rock, and A Filial mixes Brazilian roots music and other world influences with hip hop. On $1,99, with the group’s percussionist Rodrigo Pacato, A Filial explores the unmistakable rhythms and harmonies of Northeastern Brazil and the new spirit of Rio’s old samba spots.

Rapping in English as well as Portuguese, A Filial simultaneously is recognizable and foreign to the average American hip-hop fan. Their beats draw from American influences like the Beastie Boys and NWA, as well as Brazilian macaratu. They mix the two worlds of sound perfectly to create a soundscape that’s delightfully danceable and downright funky.

A Filial came out of Rio’s skateboarding scene and a hip hop circle known as the Hemp Family. “Our first tape was made using a Playstation, a karaoke set, a $10 mic, a toy that made music, and a used cassette,” founding MC Edu Lopes recalls. “We wanted to develop a hip hop sound that was more regionally based.” The following year a track was licensed to the skateboard brand Agac├¬ for their “Todos Ouvidos” or “All Heard” compilation.

Now A Filial is releasing their first album, growing in popularity internationally, and growing together as a group. Their sound incorporates influences and styles from all over the world, so as they grow and travel to new places, expect their sound to continue to grow as well.

A Filial Myspace

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