Five Museums to Visit in the City of São Paulo

pinacotecadoestado222By Pedro Souza
October 2nd, 2016

Being the largest city in Brazil, São Paulo is a hotbed of cultural activity. People will find there a plethora of concerts, theaters, museums and much more. Below, we have compiled a list of 5 museums to visit in São Paulo for your enjoyment.

1. Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo

Founded in 1905 with an array of only 26 works of art, the Pinacoteca is considered the oldest art museum of São Paulo. Nowadays, the museum has more than 9,000 works of art, documenting Brazilian art production from the 19th century until today. It is divided in many spaces such as the “Estação Pinacoteca”, which hold shows of contemporary art and houses the Walter Wei library. Another interesting space is the resistance memorial, which is located on the ground floor and dedicated to preserving the memory of the repression suffered by the population during the times of the military dictatorship. The Pinacoteca also holds many exhibitions, which can be followed in the museum’s official website.

2. Museu de Arte Moderna (Modern Art Museum)

This museum is located in the heart of Ibirapuera, the largest city park in São Paulo. Within it, one can find art galleries, a library, an auditory and a shop. With a beautiful collection of more than 5.000 works of art from artists such as Di Cavalcanti and Picasso, the Museu de Arte Moderna is definitely worth a visit. If you plan to go there, take your time and enjoy the park as well, which has many other attractions.

3. Museu do Futebol (Soccer’s museum)

Of course there is a soccer museum on this list! Located in the Pacaembu stadium, this museum documents the history of soccer and pays a tribute to it. Inside the museum, one can learn about the history of soccer, its players, narrators and Judges, as well as practicing a “virtual kick”. Known for being highly technological and interactive, this one is a must-visit for soccer fans.

4. Museu da Imagem e do Som (Museum of Sound and Image)

Located in the neighborhood of Jardins, the “MIS” is one of the most acclaimed museums in São Paulo. It was founded in 1970 as a result of a project devised by Brazilian intellectuals that wanted to create an institution willing to explore new forms of media. Nowadays, it has become a reference for studies in audio-visual production, as well as a center for artistic diffusion. With a collection of more than 350,000 entries including films, video records, photographs and graphic design, this is definitely a place worth the visit.

5. Museu de Arte de São Paulo (Art Museum of São Paulo)

Known simply as MASP, this museum is one of the symbols of the city of São Paulo. Home to the works of artists such as Remembrant, Boticelli, Renoir and Manet, it holds one of the most important art collections in South America. Not only are the exhibitions excellent, but the architecture of the building design by the Italian Lina Bo Bardi is fascinating as well. For art enthusiasts, this museum is definitely a must.

A Short History of Brazilian Funk

funk222By Pedro Souza
October 2nd, 2016

For most people, the word “funk” brings to mind the groovy rhythms played by the likes of James Brown, Rick James and Herbie Hancock. Brazilian funk however, bears little resemblance to its American counterpart.

Born in the eighties in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian funk was heavily influenced by Miami Bass, being considered a derivative of it by some. With repetitive beats, sensual choreographies and lyrics that reflect the daily life in the favelas and other marginalized communities, the style quickly spread.

In the end of the eighties, funk had become the voice of the favelas, talking about drugs, violence, poverty and sexuality. Funk parties became popular events where communities competed by displaying their songs and sound systems. It was at this time that the first famous Mc’s started to appear and make their names in the music community. The style however, was still confined to poor communities, and was viewed by many with prejudice.

One of the reasons was the association between funk parties and violence and drug use. Many criminal factions financed funk parties, and used them as a way to spread their influence and dispute power with other factions. In the 2000’s however, the style broke through its isolation and began to be appreciated by Brazilians from all walks of life.

As the names of popular MC’s became well known among Brazilians regardless of their origins, the style also began to appear in radios and television shows. Funk also started to develop into a more diverse style, with many different subdivisions. One of these subdivisions is funk melô, with melodic and romantic characteristic. This form of funk conquered the public with MC’s like Claudinho and Bochecha. Another notorious subdivision of funk is the “proibidão”, with violent and super-sexualized lyrics. Nowadays it is one of the most popular forms of funk.

The rise of funk wasn’t without resistance however. In 2009, the prefecture of Rio de Janeiro launched a project with norms that made it impossible to throw funk parties in the favelas. The norms had to be revised after a wave of popular protests however. The style also faces criticism from many intellectuals and other segments of the Brazilian populations.

Some critique the style for its frequent apology of drug-use and crime. Others complain about the promiscuity of the lyrircs and the effects it may have on children and teenagers. Another common criticism is the sexist behavior and objectification of women that is often seen in funk culture.

While there is some validity to these objections, Brazilian funk should be seen as a legitimate cultural manifestation, one that allows people from marginalized communities to assert and express their identity. Alongside with rap, it has become one of the main channels for these communities to let their voice be heard. And like rap, it has come a long way from its humble beginnings to its invasion of mainstream Brazilian pop culture. Even after coming that far, however, there is still a stigma to Brazilian funk. But like it or not, it is here to stay.

Brazil: Tropicália – The Colourful Revolution

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.

The Beginners’s Guide to Opening a Business in Brazil as a Foreigner

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.

Brazil: São Paulo’s Rich Rap Scene

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.

Brazil: Slangs and Expressions from Bahia

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.

Brazil: In Need of a Snack? Come Taste Our Salgados!

Coxinha222 By Pedro Souza
June 26, 2016

The Portuguese word “salgado” literally means “salty”, but in Brazil it has acquired another meaning as well. Salgados are snacks sold by grocery stores, bars, street vendors and gas stations all across the country. Coming in many shapes, they have become a staple of Brazilian food. Below, we have listed some of the best salgados we have to offer to make your mouth water.

Coxinha: Probably the most popular salgado, the coxinha is found all over the country. It consists of shredded chicken meat and catupiry cheese covered in dough, molded into a shape that resembles a water drop and then fried in oil. If you ever go to Brazil, do not miss your chance to try a coxinha.

Pão de queijo (Cheese bread): One of the main staples of Brazilian food, pães de queijo are nothing more than cheese-flavored baked roll. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these snacks are as delicious as they are simple.

Bolinha de queijo (Cheese balls): As the name implies, this is nothing more than a ball of cheese covered in dough and fried. Sometimes ham is also added to the filling.

Empadinha: Empadinhas are miniature pies that can be filled with a variety of things. Some of the most common fillings are chicken, heart of palm and shrimp, but the possibilities are pretty much endless.

Risole: A moon sized snack filled with ham and cheese and sometimes fried. Different fillings such as shrimp or meat can also be used.

Kibe: Made of fried ground beef and bulgar wheat, kibes are always a good call. Originally from the middle east, they can be found in almost any gas station and street bar in Brazil nowadays.

Pastel: A staple of Brazilian street food, a pastel is nothing more than a half-circle or rectangle-shaped fried pastry with a filling. While pastéis are sold in bars, restaurants and a diversity of places, they are commonly associated with street vendors and street fairs.

Bolinho de Aipim: Delicious fried yucca balls filled with meat, chicken or cheese.

Croquete (Croquette): Fried croquettes are quite popular in Brazil, especially as bar food. While there are different types of croquettes, meat croquettes are a favorite.

Acarajé: A typical snack from the northeastern state of Bahia, the acarajé is a deep fried black-eyed pea cake filled with dried shrimp and topped with coconut, cashews, garlic, pepper and more shrimp. In Bahia, acarajés are often sold by street vendors.

Esfiha: A salgado of Arabic origin, the esfiha is baked snack filled with meat and vegetables or cheese. These delicious snacks can be made open like a pizza or closed like a calzone. To make it even better, you can sprinkle some lemon juice on it.

Brazil: Slangs and Expressions from Rio de Janeiro

RioSlangs222By Pedro Souza
June 26, 2016

Most Brazilians are somewhat familiar with the carioca accent and expressions. Foreigners however, might have some trouble with the vocabulary used by cariocas in their daily life. To help you, we have compiled some common slangs and expressions you will be hearing in Rio de Janeiro.

Mermão (shortened version of “my brother”): One of the most used expressions in Rio, it is more or less the equivalent of “dude” or “bro”. Cariocas frequently say this at the start of a sentence.
Sangue bom (good blood): When someone is nice or trustworthy, that person is “sangue bom”.
Caraca!: An expression of astonishment, it is the carioca equivalent of “holy cow!”.
Maneiro (cool): When something is cool, people from Rio call it “maneiro”. This is their way of expressing approval of something.
Irado (irate): This slang is an upgrade from “maneiro”. If something is extremely cool cariocas will call it “irado”.
Partiu: Cariocas will exclaim “partiu!” when they are down to do something. You will hear this a lot when proposing an activity.
Formou (formed): Another expression said by cariocas when they are down to do something, it can replace or be replaced with “partiu”.
Deu ruim: When something goes bad, Cariocas say that it “deu ruim”. This expressions can be used for all sorts of bad situations, from a minor annoyance to a serious incident.
Na mão do palhaço (in the clown’s hand): Cariocas will say that someone was in the clown’s hand when that person became too drunk and acted in an embarrassing way.
Perdeu a linha (lost the line): This is the same as saying that someone lost composure in a situation.
Pela saco: A pela saco is a person that is annoying, sticky and doesn’t have much of a personality. If someone is a pela saco, you might want to stay away from that person.
Bolado: If a person is worried or stressed about something, Cariocas might say that person is “bolado”.
Parada: A common slang that means “thing”. Simple as that.
Vacilar (to hesitate): When someone “vacila”, that person made a mistake or lost an opportunity.
Arroz (rice): In Rio de Janeiro, an “arroz” is a man who flirts with every girl he can.
Bombando: When you to an event that is rocking, cariocas say it is “bombando”. A good party for example, is “bombando”.
Caído (fallen): A term used to designate a place that is unpleasant or not good enough.
Dar bolo (give cake): When someone scheduled a meeting and didn’t go, that person “deu o bolo” (gave the cake).
É nós (it’s us): Nothing more than an expression of companionship, this is another one you will hear a lot.
Marcar um dez (mark a 10): To “marcar um dez” is to wait for a few minutes.
Meter o pé (to put the foot): An expression that means getting away from somewhere.
Zero-bala: Something that is brand new or renewed. When a car has just been washed or repaired for example, it might be said that it is “zero-bala”.
Trocar uma idéia (exchange an idea): To have a conversation.

Brazil: Come Enjoy the Beaches and Parties of “Floripa”

Floripa By Pedro Souza
May 31, 2016

Florianopólis, popularly called Floripa, is the capital city of the southern state of Santa Catarina. The city is composed of the island of Santa Catarina, a continental part and the surrounding islands, with a population of roughly 450,000 people. A recent tourism boom shows that foreigners are finally becoming aware of the wonders of Floripa, which is easily one of the best travelling destinations in Brazil. The 50 kilometers long island that makes up most of the city has more than 40 stunning sand beaches, which attract people from all over the world.

From popular beaches where one can meet friendly people, eat seafood or drink a few beers to secluded beaches hidden amongst waving dunes, Floripa has beaches for all different tastes. There are also plenty of good spots for surfing in the city. One of the world’s most notorious surfing events, the Santa Catarina Pro, takes place in annually in Floripa. If you are interested in trying the sport, the Barra da Lagoa beach is a good spot for beginners. Another sport that is quite popular there is sandboarding. The city has many majestic sand dunes, and for as little as U$5, tourists can rent a board and enjoy themselves surfing down these dunes. This is a great way to have a fun evening and get fit as well. Carrying your board up a sand dune is a lot more tiring than it sounds.

There are also secluded beaches that can only be reached by hiking, and the outskirts of Floripa offer plenty of trails for outdoors lovers. If you have a vehicle, another option is driving to the São Joaquim National Park, which offers 50,000 acres of forest, rivers, waterfalls and wildlife. Just be sure to bring a guide or to be careful if you want to avoid getting lost in the park.

In the southwest of the city, there is a fishing village known as Ribeirão da Ilha. Known for its well-preserved and colorful colonial style houses, and the beautiful church of Nossa Senhora, it is one of the favorite tourist spots. The village is also notorious for the local handicraft and the delicious fresh oysters that are found there, which gives an opportunity to make a stop there for lunch. In the center of the Santa Catarina Island, one will find the Conceição Lagoon, one of the best spots in the city. This magnificent lagoon is known as one of the best windsurfing spots in the country, and the nightlife in the surrounding area attracts people from all over the city. There is also a rustic fishing village in the lagoon known as Costa da Lagoa, which is definitely worth a visit.

As if its dazzling beaches aren’t enough, Floripa is also known for its buzzing nightlife. The city is full of bars, pubs and clubs, where one can drink, dance and flirt at will. Whether you enjoy rock, samba, rap or house music, you will be sure to find out that Floripa more than lives up to its reputation as one of the best partying spots in Brazil. The city also has one of the best carnaval parties, despite Rio getting all the hype. Whether in the clubs, beaches or in the streets, you are sure to have a great time when the parties hit the city.

With all of this and much more, the city makes for a great destination. Whether you are looking for adventure, sports, nature, partying or simply for a place to relax, Floripa won’t disappoint you. If you ever have the opportunity, come pay a visit and find out for yourself what the hype is all about!

Brazil: The Legend of Raul Seixas

RaulSeixas222 By Pedro Souza
May 31, 2016

Brazil is a country that boasts a rich musical heritage. Musicians like Carmen Miranda, Tom Jobin, Catano Veloso, Chico Buarque, Luiz Gonzaga and Elis Regina have left their mark in history, and are now appreciated worldwide. Yet, few musicians have influenced the music and culture of Brazil as profoundly as Raul Seixas, who is called by many the father of Brazilian rock.

Raul was born in 1945 in Salvador, in the state of Bahia. In his teenage years he was introduced to rock ‘n’ roll when a friend lent him some albums. He fell in love with the style, listening to the likes of Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley, who was his main inspiration. In the late fifties, a young Raul gathered some friends and formed a band. As he got his first taste of playing live, the band went through many changes in name and composition before settling for “Os Panteras” in 1963. By the time the band consolidated, they had turned into a local sensation. In 1968 they launched an album, named “Raulzito e os Panteras” (Raulzito and the Panthers).

The album was a failure, ignored by both the critics and the public. Determined to make his way into the music scene, Raul entered the VII Festival Internacional da Canção (International Song Festival) presenting two songs: “Eu sou eu, Nicuri é o diabo” (I am me, Nicuri is the devil) and “Let me sing, let me sing”, a song that mixed rock ‘n’ roll with a Baião, a traditional musical style from northeast of Brazil. Although he didn’t win the prize, his song “Let me sing let me sing” reached the finals, enchanting the public with its originality and eclecticism.

Raul’s name was growing, but fame would only arrive in 1973 when Raul launched his first solo album titled “Krig-ha, Bandolo!”. The album was a huge success, featuring songs that are still considered to be some of his best. The highlight of the album is “Ouro de Tolo” (Fool’s Gold), a scathing critic of the middle-class dream of finding a job and consuming your way to happiness. Another classic song from the album is Metamorfose Ambulante. Even nowadays most Brazilians are familiar with the song chorus that goes: “Eu prefiro ser uma metamorfose ambulante do que ter aquela velha opinião formada sobre tudo” (I would rather be a walking metamorphosis than have the same old opinions about everything).

In 1974 Raul launched the Sociedade Alternativa (Alternative Society) with the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. Heavily influenced by English Occultist Aleister Crowley, the society was centered around studying philosophy and the esoteric. The influences Raul acquired during this period are quite evident in his lyrics from this point onwards, as Raul always used his songs as a way to express his personal philosophy. He was also planning to start living communally with the society in the state of Minas Gerais, until he was caught by the repression led by the military junta which governed Brazil at the time. Arrested and tortured, he went in exile into the United States.

In this year, he also launched his second solo album, named Gita. With more than 600,000 copies sold, the album earned Raul his first Golden certification. The tracks “Gita”, “A Sociedade Alternativa” (The Alternative Society) and “O Trem das 7” (7’s Train) are considered some of his best songs. Well established into the music scene, Raul would go on to launch many albums in the following years, teaming up with other musicians such as Claudio Roberto and Marcelo Nova. As Raul kept playing, he grew into a legend, but his health started deteriorating due to his alcoholism. In the eighties, the quality of his music had clearly deteriorated as well, and he often played his concerts in a sorry state.

In august 1989, Brazil cried when Raul died of an alcohol-induced pancreatitis at the age of 44. Now, 26 years after his death, he is more alive than ever. His eclectic mixes of rock with traditional Brazilian musical styles and poetic yet comical lyrics have influenced and still influence many musicians to this day. He is also the main musical influence of the Brazilian counterculture, becoming almost a patron saint for Brazilian hippies. In live shows and campfires, his music requested so often that it has become an ongoing joke among Brazilians. Sometimes, when a band playing live takes a break between songs, someone will get up and jokingly scream “Toca Raul!” (Play some Raul), and everyone will have a good laugh.