Street-savvy all-singing, all-rapping São Paulan sensation
Since the release of his last album, Nó Na Orelha, Criolo has arguably become the most important new artist in Brazil. Here is a rapper from a poor São Paulo neighbourhood, speaking candidly about his upbringing and life in Brazil, but doing so in such a poetic and existential manner that his appeal has been widespread. The fact that he sings just as much as he raps means that this artist is not just for hip-hop fans – though it’s a fierce rap that opens the album. The title-track, translating as ‘Summon Your Buddha’, is pure hip-hop and sets the spirit of the album with ferocious lyrics about violence, guns and inequality. It’s easy to see why Criolo is held up as an icon by the same Brazilians who protested during the World Cup protests.
Yet, this is only one side of Criolo. On highlights such as ‘Pegue Pra Ela’ and ‘Casa de Papelão’ he offers up hope on tracks that are respectively influenced by pop and jazz. Diversions into pagode, reggae and 80s funk (on the lighthearted ‘Cartão de Visita’) complete a diverse album that is sure to fuel Criolo’s growing stature, both in Brazil and around the world.