50 Years of Hip Hop

Twenty names that have shaped the movement in Brazil and worldwide

Hip hop 50 - Brasil (1988-01-15) by Bettina MusattiFolha de S.Paulo

It was on August 11, 1973, that the party considered to symbolize the birth of hip hop took place. In an apartment in the Bronx, New York, the Jamaican DJ Kool Herc employed techniques that became the esthetic hallmarks of the genre, using a microphone and two turntables.

Hip hop 50 - Brasil (1988-09-02) by Mônica VendraminiFolha de S.Paulo

For at least 50 years, hip hop has remained one of the most important expressions of black music, constantly being revitalized and being hugely relevant in the global phonographic market. In this showcase, discover 20 artists who have been highly influential for the genre.

Hip hop 50 - Internacional (2011-09-29) by Danilo VerpaFolha de S.Paulo

Born in the Bronx neighborhood of New York, DJ Afrika Bambaataa was a pioneer in using the term “hip hop” and is considered one of the founders of the style. In 1977, he created Zulu Nation, a movement that brought together rappers, dancers, and visual artists with a politically conscious attitude.

Hip hop 50 - Internacional (1995-04-19) by Rogério AlbuquerqueFolha de S.Paulo

The Beastie Boys, a trio consisting of Mike D, Ad Rock, and MCA, blended rock with hip hop, combining turntables with bass, guitar, and drums.

Hip hop 50 - Internacional (1995-04-19) by Rogério AlbuquerqueFolha de S.Paulo

With the album ‘Licensed to Ill’ (1986), they became the first artists in the genre to reach the top of the Billboard charts, and over the following years, they continued to release unforgettable tracks with their humorous rhymes paired with creative beats. Some of their classics include ‘Sabotage,’ ‘Fight For Your Right to Party,’ and ‘Funky Boss.’

Hip hop 50 - Brasil (2016-05-22) by Bruno SantosFolha de S.Paulo

One of the main icons of Brazilian hip hop in recent decades, Criolo has a body of work influenced by various Brazilian rhythms in rap. Besides recording a samba album (‘Espiral da Ilusão,’ 2017) and a tribute to Tim Maia with Ivete Sangalo (‘Viva Tim Maia!,’ 2015), he is behind classics like ‘Esquiva de Esgrima,’ ‘Subirusdoistiozin,’ and ‘Não Existe Amor em SP,’ a song that brought him national attention after he performed it alongside Caetano Veloso at the VMB in 2011.

Hip hop 50 - Internacional (2005-10-22) by Macarena LoboFolha de S.Paulo

From the Long Island music scene in New York, De La Soul emerged in the late 1980s. Posdnuos, Trugoy the Dove, and DJ Maseo crafted a unique sound by sampling major recordings and blending them with hip hop beats. The band’s debut release was the acclaimed LP ‘3 Feet High and Rising’ (1989), but they also became notorious for the difficulties in marketing and distributing their work due to the copyrights on the sampled snippets.

Hip hop 50 - Brasil (2019-09-06) by Karime XavierFolha de S.Paulo

Hailing from Minas Gerais, Djonga is an artist known for his sharp discourse against racism and social injustices. With six albums in his back catalog, he is a prominent name in contemporary hip hop, with tracks including ‘Solto,’ ‘Olho de Tigre,’ and ‘Penumbra.’

Hip hop 50 - Brasil (2015-08-05) by Adriano VizoniFolha de S.Paulo

A formidable name in contemporary hip hop, Emicida has eight albums to his credit, and also ventures into cinema and literature. He has recorded alongside artists like Zeca Pagodinho, Wilson das Neves, and Pitty, and his hits include ‘AmarElo,’ ‘Hoje Cedo,’ and ‘Levanta e Anda.’

Hip hop 50 - Internacional (2010-11-05) by Eduardo AnizelliFolha de S.Paulo

Eminem became the first rapper to appear on the list of the top 10 biggest album sellers in the music industry. A native of Detroit, he is one of the few “EGO artists,” an acronym for those who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, and an Oscar. Among the main hits of his career are ‘Lose Yourself,’ ‘Without Me,’ and ‘The Real Slim Shady.’

Hip hop 50 - Internacional (1999-08-10) by Marcos FinottiFolha de S.Paulo

Born in Barbados, DJ Grandmaster Flash is one of the creators of hip hop and a pioneer in mixing techniques such as backspin, cutting, phasing, and scratch. He has been an important figure on the Bronx music scene since the 1970s. In 1982, alongside the group Furious Five, he released the hit ‘The Massage,’ a portrait of New York at the time.

Hip hop 50 - Internacional (2011-11-12) by Zanone FraissatFolha de S.Paulo

One of the most controversial personalities in the music industry, Kanye West – now calling himself Ye – is a singer, songwriter, music producer, and fashion designer, with a career marked by great success and controversy. In addition to producing artists like Eminem, Jay-Z, and Alicia Keys, he has written classic hip hop albums such as ‘Graduation’ (2007) and ‘The Life Of Pablo’ (2016).

Hip hop 50 - Internacional (2010-09-07) by Adriano VizoniFolha de S.Paulo

Discovered by the world in the 1990s as a member of The Fugees, Lauryn Hill became one of the most important female voices in hip hop, releasing the acclaimed album ‘The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill’ in 1998.

Hip hop 50 - Internacional (2010-09-07) by Adriano VizoniFolha de S.Paulo

Incorporating R&B and soul influences, she has created a revered body of work whose lyrics speak of love, relationships, and the experiences of a black woman.

Hip hop 50 - Internacional (2012-11-24) by Ana Carolina FernandesFolha de S.Paulo

The singer, songwriter, and producer Missy Elliott was the first female hip hop artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Also known by the nickname “Misdemeanor,” she was part of the group Sista and has had many hits in her career, including ‘Get Ur Freak On,’ ‘Work It,’ and ‘Lose Control.’

Hip hop 50 - Brasil (2007-09-06) by Sergio CarvalhoFolha de S.Paulo

An important figure in Rio de Janeiro hip hop, MV Bill hails from Cidade de Deus and wrote classics like ‘Soldado do Morro,’ ‘Estilo Vagabundo,’ and ‘Só Deus Pode Me Julgar.’ Besides being a singer and songwriter, he has become known for his social work, published four books, participated in various films, and hosted TV shows. He has also won the VMB award from MTV twice and the Hutúz Award four times.

Hip hop 50 - Brasil (2004-09-09) by Ana OttoniFolha de S.Paulo

Negra Li was the first hip hop singer to sign with a major label in Brazil, in 2004. With her distinctive voice, she joined the group RZO aged 16 and gained prominence when she recorded the track ‘Não É Sério’ with the band Charlie Brown Jr. In her solo career, she recorded celebrated songs like ‘Você Vai Estar Na Minha’ and ‘Negra Livre.’

Hip hop 50 - Internacional (2011-07-23) by Rodrigo CapoteFolha de S.Paulo

One of the most emblematic bands in hip hop history, Public Enemy emerged in 1982 with its original lineup featuring Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Terminator X, and Professor Griff. With a powerful political message and unforgettable beats, the group has a solid discography that includes songs like ‘Fight The Power,’ ‘It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back,’ and ‘Rebel Without a Pause.’

Hip hop 50 - Brasil (1997-12-01) by Luzia FerreiraFolha de S.Paulo

The foremost reference in Brazilian hip hop and rap, Racionais MC’s played a founding role in the movement in Brazil. Formed by Mano Brown, KL Jay, Ice Blue, and Edi Rock in 1988, the quartet portrayed life on the edges of São Paulo with precise lyrics and catchy sounds, on unforgettable tracks like ‘Diário de Um Detento,’ ‘Negro Drama,’ and ‘Capítulo 4, Versículo 3.’

Hip hop 50 - Brasil (1999-03-01) by Carla RomeroFolha de S.Paulo

RZO, short for “Rapaziada da Zona Oeste,” is led by rappers Sandrão and Helião and has collaborated with various artists including Negra Li, DJ Cia, and Anderson Franja. Formed in Pirituba, some of their best-known tracks include ‘Todos São Manos,’ ‘Rolê na Vila,’ and ‘Pirituba, Pt.2.’

Hip hop 50 - Brasil (2002-09-19) by Luciana CavalcantiFolha de S.Paulo

Even with his brief career, Sabotage left his mark on Brazilian music, having a notable influence on subsequent generations of rap and hip hop. Respected by his contemporaries, the "Maestro do Canão" received four Hutúz awards during his lifetime and recorded unforgettable songs like ‘Um Bom Lugar,’ ‘Rap É Compromisso,’ and ‘Mun-Rá.’

Hip hop 50 - Internacional (2011-11-12) by Eduardo AnizelliFolha de S.Paulo

Snoop Doggy Dogg stood out in the international market as one of the main figures of the G-funk (gangsta funk) subgenre. In his work, the American singer flirts with elements of psychedelia, reggae, soul, and blues. His hits include the tracks ‘Gin and Juice,’ ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot,’ and ‘Who Am I (What’s My Name)?’

Hip hop 50 - Brasil (2017-01-05) by Zanone FraissatFolha de S.Paulo

Tássia Reis is among the leading female names in contemporary Brazilian hip hop. Born in Jacareí in the state of São Paulo, her lyrics touch on breaking standards, love, and self-awareness. Some of her stand-out songs include ‘Dolar Euro,’ ‘Ofício de Cantante,’ and ‘Calma Preta.’

Hip hop 50 - Brasil (1996-11-01) by Adriana ZehbrauskasFolha de S.Paulo

The duo Thaíde and DJ Hum debuted with the collective compilation ‘Hip-Hop Cultura de Rua’ in 1988. Recognized as pioneers of the genre in Brazil, the duo released six albums. Among their best-known songs are ‘Sr. Tempo Bom,’ ‘Homens da Lei,’ and ‘Preste Atenção.’

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