Tropcalia222By Pedro Souza
August 29th, 2016

The sixties in Brazil were marked by the beginning of a bloody dictatorship, which started in 1964 and went all the way from 1985. The repression didn’t affect only communists and other leftists, but it also arrested and tortured many artists from all different fields. Yet, one of the most vibrant musical movements in the history of Brazil emerged during this period. Known as tropicália or tropicalismo, it emerged at the end of the sixties, exploding into the artistic scene during the Festival de Música Popular (Popular Music Festival) that took place in 1967 organized by TV Record.

Characterized by its syncretism, it had an “everything goes” attitude, mixing musical styles such as rock, bossa nova, baião and samba among others. It is also responsible for the introduction of the electric guitar in the Brazilian musical scene, which provoked revolt among some classical musicians who complained that Braziliam music was being corrupted by North-American influences. The movement also pushed forward many aesthetic changes. Morals, behavior and sexuality were influenced by tropicália, and many aspects of the hippie counterculture were assimilated into Brazil, such as the colorful clothing and long hair.

Lyrically, the musicians that took part in it were very poetic, making social critiques and talking about ordinary things in an innovative way. Although there were social critiques in some of the lyrics, using music as a weapon against the dictatorship wasn’t among the top priorities of the movement. Because of this, its artists were often criticized by other musicians, which were using their music as a form of protest. In response, the proponents of tropicalismo argued that changing the face of music was revolutionary in itself.

The movement launched some of the most popular artists in the country, and many albums released during this time are now considered classics. Musicians such as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Tom Zé, Gal Costa and the psychedelic rock band Mutantes changed the Brazilian musical scene forever. With their TV appearances, organized events and collaborative albums, they quickly sent shockwaves through Brazil, leaving their mark in history. Despite its popularity, the movement was short lasted. Even though the musicians that took place in it weren’t as militant as other sectors of the Brazilian musical scene, its libertarian tendencies caused it to be repressed by the dictatorship. In 1969, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil were arrested and sent in exile, which sent the movement tumbling down.

Thus ended one of the most notorious musical movements In Brazil. Yet, while it lasted only a few years, it changed Brazilian music and culture forever. Its influence can still be seen in Brazilian cinema and theater, and in the attitude and aesthetics of some parts of Brazilian counter-culture. Many contemporary artists such as Secos e Molhados and Nação Zumbi were also heavily influenced by tropicália. The movement also left us some of the best music that has been produced in Brazil, which is still widely listened and appreciated worldwide.

By Pedro Souza
August 29th, 2016
Beginner's Guide to Business in Brazil

Brazil is known as a hard place to operate a company. That being said, it is still a country ripe with opportunity, despite the ongoing crisis. In order to help you with setting up your own business here, we have written this simple guide.

Both foreigners and locals are allowed to open a business here, but foreigners might be subjected to a few restrictions. These restrictions are present in some areas such as publishing, or when the company operates near the country’s borders. A foreigner is also allowed to incorporate a company in Brazil, though a permanent visa is necessary in order to be appointed the company’s administrator or director.

In Brazil, there are two types of limited liability companies, the “Limitada” (limited) and the “Sociedade Anônima” (Anonymous Society). The most common of these two is the Limitada, which is simpler and cheaper than the Sociedade Anônima. There are no minimum capital requirements for opening a Limitada, which is managed by one or more administrators appointed by the shareholders. This type of company is based on Articles of Association known in Brazil as “Contrato Social” (social contract).

The Sociedade Anônima in contrast, is more expensive to operate, and its corporate acts and financial statements need to be published in newspapers. The management of the company is divided into a management Board and a fiscal council, both of which need to have at least two Brazilian residents. It also needs to have a board of directors composed of shareholders if it is listed on the stock exchange or if it has authorized capital. The capital of the Sociedade Anônima can be divided into different classes, and the company is governed by By-Laws known in Brazil as “estatutos”.

During the incorporation process, Brazilian law requires a lawyer to be present. The lawyer needs to be provided with a Power of Attorney in order to carry out the process. If the investor is a foreign company, it needs to provide a copy of its Certificate of Incorporation. Once you have the Power of Attorney and the Certificate of incorporation, they need to be consularized at the Brazilian Consulate or embassy in the investor’s country. Once this is done, the documents have to be translate to Brazilian Portuguese by an official translator.

Now that you have the necessary documents, you should give them to the lawyer that will handle the incorporation. After that, you need to decide certain matters such as the name of the company, the identity of the shareholders and the company’s capital in accordance with Brazilian law. This should be done with the help of Brazilian lawyers. Once these matters are decided, the next step is to finalize the text of the Articles of Association or By-Laws with a lawyer.

When this is done, the company has to be registered with the state Commercial registry or Registry for Corporate Entities. Finally, you have to obtain a Brazilian Federal Tax Number, which is called a CNPJ locally. A lawyer can handle both of these processes. Once you have your CNPJ, your business if finally ready to operate! Now that you are ready, I wish you success in your endeavor.

SaoPauloRap222By Pedro Souza
August 2nd, 2016

The largest city in South America, São Paulo is a megalopolis with around 20 million inhabitants. The city that never sleeps has much beauty in it, but it is also riddled with social problems. Luxury condominiums and hulking skyscrapers coexist side by side with slums, and poor neighborhoods abound in the city. People from these areas are constantly dealing with problems such as crime, poverty, prejudice and police violence. In this environment, Brazilian rap emerged as a way to express these issues, and gave these communities a voice.

The origins of Brazilian hip-hop and rap can be traced to parties in the eighties known as “bailes black”. These parties which quickly became popular included performances known as “funk falado” (spoken funk), which were the first rap battles in Brazil. Towards the end of the eighties, American rap and hip-hop artists started to present themselves at these parties as well, injecting their influence into the emerging rap-culture. The main meeting point for early rappers was near the São Bento metro station, where the paulista punk culture was also taking shape.

It is at this point that the first names of Brazilian rap started to appear, names like Pepeu & Mike, Mc Ninja and Thaíde. In the early nineties, the rap scene in São Paulo had already consolidated, with its own names, values and culture. The influence from the North American west coast rap scene is clearly visible in the clothing that was adopted by paulista rap fans, but the native rap culture developed with its own set of values and musical style. The rap from São Paulo usually has a simple beat, with lyrics focusing on the issues faced by marginalized populations. As the paulista rap become popular and started attracting media attention in the early nineties, it also brought attention to these issues, causing many people to see these communities in a new light.

It was at this time that the first large names of Brazilian rap started to appear. Among these names, one man stands out: Sabotage. Born Matheus dos Santos in the Brooklin neighborhood, Sabotage quickly rose to prominence when he started performing with Brazilian rap group RZO. The man who is called by some “the Brazilian 2pac” went on to launch albums, act in movies and perform with many popular Brazilian artists from different musical styles. Unfortunately, his career was cut short when he was murdered in 2003 for reasons that are still not clear. Although his career lasted a little over a decade, his legacy still stands, inspiring marginalized youth of São Paulo.

Another name worth mentioning is Racionais Mc’s, a group consisting of the mcs Mano Brown and Edi Rock, and the dj Kl Jay. Funded in 1989, they quickly became popular with their heavy lyrics focused on denouncing the ways that capitalism, racism and the police work together to oppress São Paulo’s rap youth. Nowadays, they are by far the most popular Brazilian rappers, and have had an enormous influence in the scene.

Nowadays, rap culture in São Paulo has matured, giving birth to names like Facção Central, Emicida, Rashid and Projota. It continues to provide the excluded with a way to express their problems and be heard, and it remains one of the strongest and most original rap scenes in the world.

SlangsBahia222By Pedro Souza
August 2nd, 2016

With its dazzling beaches, rich cultural heritage and warm people, the state of Bahia is one of the main travelling destinations in Brazil. If you plan to visit it and see for yourself what the hype is all about, it might be a good idea to get acquainted with some local slangs and expressions. For this reason, we have made this compilation.

A culhão: When someone is not interested in doing something, that person might do it without putting too much effort or paying attention to detail. In Bahia, this is called doing it “a culhão”.
Abrir o gás (Open the gas): You don’t leave a place in Bahia, you open the gas!
Abusar (Abuse): To annoy someone.
Abestalhado (Bestified): A stupid person.
Aleive: When you tell an absurd story that is probably a lie, someone might call it an “aleive”.
Colé misera!/Colé meu bródi!: A way of greeting that might be called the baiano equivalent of “what’s up man?”.
Oxê!: An exclamation with no particular meaning that you will be hearing a lot. And trust me when I say “a lot”.
Não to comendo reggae (I’m not eating reggae): To not be eating something’s/someone’s reggae, means to not be giving importance to it.
Bate o baba (Hit the baba): Baianos don’t play soccer, they hit the baba.
Apoquentado: You don’t get nervous in Bahia, you get “apoquentado”!
Arrastar a asa (To drag your wing): When you “drag your wing” for someone in Bahia, it means you are into that person.
Arriar o balaio: To open up and tell someone everything about something or about a situation.
Bodoso: A dirty or smelly person.
Boiar (to float): To “boiar” means to get tired. And when you do become tired, you now “boiado”.
Bater a caixa (To hit a box): To hold a conversation.
Pegar o boi (to get the bull): When you get something easily, you got the bull.
Na lama (In the mud): When you are having a bad day or are in a bad point in your life, you are in the mud.
Na biela (In the biela): When you are single, you are in the “biela”.
Morreu aí (It died here): When ending a conversation or a subject, a baiano might say it “died here”.
Meu nego (My nego): Another expression you will hear a lot in Bahia, it is an affectionate way of referring to someone.
Cachorro magro (thin dog): A thin dog is a person that eats at someone else’s house and leaves right after.
Comer água (To eat water): In Bahia, drinking alcoholic beverages is called “eating water”.
O Cão chupando manga (The dog sucking a mango): When someone is really good at someting, that person is “the dog sucking a mango”. This is easily one of the funnies expressions from Bahia.
Massa! (Mass!): Something cool.
Levar um chepo (To take a chepo): When you try to flirt with a girl and get rejected, you just took a “chepo”.
Despirocar: To “despirocar” is to get crazy!
Chavecar: In most places in Brazil, this means flirting with someone. In Bahia, it means annoying someone.