Hip-Hop in the U.S. has been part conscious rejection of oppressive institutions, and part self-loving cultural bops. In Brazil, rap takes up a similar space in the music culture. Brazilian hip-hop is known for its political messaging from calling out race inequality to brazenly rejecting anti-LGBTQ sentiment.
With influences from American Hip Hop but also the numerous Brazilian genres of music, Rio and Sao Paolo are considered the birthplace of Brazilian hip hop. But artists from other cities especially more indigenous areas have garnered recent success in the Brazilian rap world.
Female emcees specifically speak on the social issues of their time, history and environment all while mixing the beautiful genres and sub-genres of Brazilian music.
This is our list of 5 Brazilian Female hip hop artists you should know.
No Brazilian female hip hop artist list would be complete without Flora Matos. Resident emcee Flora Matos has had a long career in Hip Hop. With only 2 full projects and ongoing features, Flora Matos still captivates audiences with her music.
In a country where hate crimes against LGBTQ people, the queer woman is brave to include lyrics about same-sex love and attraction in her music. In the song “Perdendo O Juízo” or “Losing my Judgment,” Matos brags about captivating the love and attention of a woman.
Flora Matos is also an art and creative director. Fans constantly are asking the artist when she will release another album. Flora recently posted a video of her producing music on her art Instagram.
Another female rapper to know from Brasilia is Karol Conká.
Conká is also known for her acting and modeling careers. She’s an outspoken activist, feminist and recently came out as bisexual.
Her music often reflects women’s empowerment, such as her song “Lalá” which highlights female sexuality.
Conká told Afropunk in 2015,
“Music for me is a kind of resistance to many forms of prejudice that I have suffered in life [for] being black, female, and poor.”
Karol Conká’s music specifically seeks to empower and provide representation as well as inspiration to Black women in Brasil, much like Lauryn Hill did for Conká’s own growth as an artist.
“I’m fighting against low self-esteem and pessimism and I want to bring joy and happiness through my lyrics.”
Known for her role the lead actresses in the 2006 musical drama film Antônia, Negra Li has been releasing music with an emphasis on uplifting afro-centric messaging and speaking out against racial injustice.
Her latest single “Brasilândia” calls out the appropriation of Black culture and hip hop culture by fake artists there for the clout. She emphasizes that there’s an important distinction between Vanilla Ice and Ice Cube.
So don’t confuse Vanilla Ice with Ice Cube
Então não confunde Vanilla Ice com Ice Cube
She also likens herself to Lauryn Hill. Others often compare Negra Li to Solange. Negra Li is also known for featuring in Akon’s “Beautiful” video.
Rimas & Melodias
Rap and R&B collective Rimas & Melodias (which accurately translates to Rhymes and Melodies) are a relatively young group.
The collective has released several tracks as well as older clips of them in a cypher. With little knowledge of the language, the flow and chemistry among the seven members are seamless.
Tássia Reis, Drik Barbosa, Tatiana Bispo, Karol de Souza, Stefanie, Alt Niss, and Mayra Maldjian were already successful solo rappers in their own right before forming the collective.
Their first release “Origens” was in 2017 and remains their most-watched video at 1.1 million views on YouTube. The goal of “Origens” was to establish the musical origins of every member through six verses while emphasizing their spiritual and ancestral origins.
Brisa Flow, the rapper from Minas Gerais, is the daughter of Chilean parents who came to Brazil fleeing the Pinochet Dictatorship.
Her music focuses on personal and larger themes, from romance to feminism to regionalism. She moved to Sao Paolo to pursue her music career and released her first solo album in 2016 called Newen.
Her latest album, “Selvagem Como O Vento” or “Wild like the Wind” speaks from and explores the perspective of an indigenous Latin woman in the urban context. The project mixes hip hop, indigenous Brazilian music, and R&B.
She also speaks on being a mother in her new album, referring to motherhood and giving birth as a way to resist oppression and reject the negative views of mothers.