Thursday, February 10, 2011

RAEL DA RIMA-MP3 (Trama, 2011)

Just look at the kick-ass cover art of this album, you know it's gonna be good, right? Sometimes I feel that Brazilians just dwell in another level. Like, they have it all figured out, while we are still looking for shit.
I've said it many times, I love Brazilian music, and Trama puts out some of the best modern Brazilian music out there. And while everybody else in Latin America is trying to come up with a way to sell albums in a market that's 99.9% dominated by piracy, these guys from Trama are releasing full digital albums (not just "mixtapes") in great quality, with amazing artwork that anybody can download for free. Somehow they found a way to cover the costs with advertising. Good for them!
MP3 might refer to the format in which the album is released, but it also an ingenious portuguese abbreviation for Popular Music of the Third World. Rael Da Rima was a well known MC in an underground rap group in São Paulo, Brazil, and he basically decided to step out from the rigid hip-hop restrictions, form a band and do an album where reggae is the main component. Yes, he pulled a Wyclef. There's also some other elements, including Afro-Brazilian music and of course rap, but instrumental roots-reggae is the main dish here. From a DJ point of view, I don't know if I'd be playing this at my Brazilian music sets too much, because it's mostly mellow (there's a decent bonus track remix though) and it's definitely not dance-floor oriented. I would've been happier with at least one up-beat dancehall track. But still, it's a great album to listen to and enjoy and, best of all, it's free (if you can figure out how to subscribe to Trama's website and download it--instructions are in portuguese).

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