Funk Carioca

AKA Brazilian funk, baile funk, or favela funk.

Hip Hop
Afro-Brazilian rhythms
Miami Bass

Baile in Portuguese literally means "ball", as in "dance party", and "funk" is how locals label the musical genre (see below for origin of this label); therefore, "baile funk" means a "funk ball" or "funk party", and is used in Brazil exclusively to describe the parties where such music is played, and not the music itself. The mainstream Brazilian media often calls the music "Funk Carioca", meaning funk from Rio de Janeiro; alternately, it is simply referred to as "Funk", especially in Rio proper.

"Bailes Funk" or 'Funk Balls' generally take place in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and other cities. It is estimated that 200,000 youths of all social classes and backgrounds attend them every weekend.

Funk balls have been notorious for their blatant sexuality and violence. The funqueiros ("funkers", or patrons of the clubs) sometimes become violent, and deaths are not uncommon. Certain clubs have been described as having blood-smeared walls and having trampled persons lying on the floor. Some DJs have been known to incite the crowd to fight with their selection of music. During the late 1990s, a phenomenon called the "corredor", where two rival gangs (not previously formed) would line up on opposite sides, called Lado A and Lado B (A and B side) and fight in the corridor of space between them. This practice is also called "Corredor Polonês" in reference to the Polish Corridor. Funkers will drag a rival to the other side, or some will willingly cross over to the other side, and they will fight bareknuckles. The recent decline of violence at funk balls has led to greater acceptance of them by the public.

Much like any kind of hip hop music, funk carioca lifts heavily on samples – international rips, as well as rips on previous funk music. Much of the production occurs in small scale studios in Rio, and achieve distribution through hand-burned CDs in the markets throughout Rio, São Paulo, and Salvador.

Besides Miami Bass-type beats, Funk Carioca also uses some traditional Afro-Brazilian rhythms. A West Coast Electro Bass track entitled 808 Volt (Beatapella Mix) by DJ Battery Brain was widely sampled.

Frequent lyrical topics are sex, the party, and the life of favelados in the favelas. Sexual innuendo, favela slang, and homage to the artist's own favela are common.

Much like rap and hip hop culture is wildly popular yet feared in the United States, funk is viewed as an overly loud, aggressive, misogynist and sociopathic form of music by many people of Brazilian middle class.


Art School Funk

AKA funk indie, funk curitibano, or novo funk

The funk carioca sound appropriated by indie/art school kids. Witty lyrics commenting on the indie scene and going to art school. Based mainly in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba.


  • Bonde do Role - on Diplo's Mad Decent label
  • Bonde das Impostora - sing about going to design school
  • Tetine - Brazilian group based in London. Did a video collaboration with Sophie Calle.
Bonde das Impostora, lyrics in translation (thanks kristen!):

Fotologger Diva
Bicha Designer
King dos Blase



A sub-genre of Baile Funk in Brazil is entitled Proibidão, which translates to "highly forbidden". Funk fans say it glorifies local drug dealers and favela drug lords and contains heavy and explicit sexual messages, being therefore seen as an especially volatile form of music in the eyes of the Brazilian government. The group Movimento Funk Club has recorded a song entitled Namoro Depravado ("Depraved Love") in 1998 that was subtitled Proibidão.



Brazilian sketch comedy clip where President Lula sings funk



Reasoner Podcast 2: Reasonable Baile Funk
Reasoner: Baile Burning
Mix by Diplo - Favela on Blast



Wikipedia: Funk Carioca
XLR8R: Baile Funk: The Funk Phenomenon
Youtube: Tetine