The sounds of tamborzão rhythms are blasting from the speakers. The crowd is wild and is dancing to the thumping beat. Different samples of music are mixed in to create a sound that is in a category of its own…baile funk.
A baile funk performance can take place in a number of settings. The three most common settings is the stadium, club and the streets.
Main stream artists such as MIA and Tetine tend to draw a larger crowd. These performances are usually in an arena, which holds thousands of people. The actual stage is usually left bare for the artists to perform. It also gives more space if they decide to let some audience members come up and dance. There are no props. There may be an overhead projector that displays colorful images synchronized with the music, but the stage is left bare.
Another popular setting is in the club. This is usually when the DJ is playing a mix of different baile funk tunes rather than the actual artists performing it live. The clubs are dark, and sometimes trimmed with neon luminosities. The strobing lights rave with the beating music while it highlights the dance floor. The center of attention is the audience on the dance floor.
The last setting is in the street, where baile funk music was born. The stage can be set up anywhere. Usually, an alley is the ideal place to hold a performance. The walls are grimy and the stage is the streets uncensored, untouched and raw. Many block parties are held in areas of poverty. Take Rio de Janeiro as an example. They are known for their exciting parties. Their crowd is usually that of people from poverty. The people come to the concert to release their frustration and have fun. Sometimes the crowd splits in two and have dance battles while the music play.
Whether baile funk is played on the streets or a large stadium, there is one common prop that is vital to this experience….SPEAKERS. It’s not a Baile Funk performance without speakers stacked up on top of each other, blasting Baile funk to the highest volume.
Baile Funk fashion is like the music, bold and expressive.
The women fashion usually falls into two categories. They will either favor vintage fashion in the 80’s or skimpy fashion that shows a lot of skin. Artists like Zuzuka Poderosa wear fashion that favors the 80’s. The clothing is very colorful. Bold prints like checkerboard and floral prints are paired with neon colors.
Chunky earrings and loud lipstick are accented with big and messy hair. Sunglasses with bold shaped lenses is another accessory that screams baile funk.
Women also wear skimpy clothes. Skin, skin, skin! These women are usually the women in the audience. Bathing suit tops, short skirts, fishnet stockings and sheer tops are only a few ways they show their stuff. Many baile funk tunes celebrates sexuality and the women expresses it through their attire.
The men in baile funk also tend to fall into two categories. The traditional T-shirt and jeans or the loud carnival look. Dj’s and performers usually follow the traditional look. T-shirts promoting baile funk music or just an every day t-shirt is worn with jeans.
The colorful carnival look is bold. These looks are usually pulled off by the artists and audience members. The men dye their hair crazy colors like orange and blue. Many men get haircuts that have unique designs. Pictures of animals, stars and words are only a few examples of what these men get cut into their heads. T-shirts is not an option for many of these men, they rather wear their muscles out instead. Big chunky chains are also another popular accessory.
The fashion in baile funk is a fun and bold way for the artists and their fans to express themselves.
Observer, The. Ghetto Fabulous. 15 September 2005. 14 April 2011 <http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2005/sep/18/brazil.popandrock>.
Vincent Rosenblatt. Baile Funk Body. 14 April 2011