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BRA/NCH is an original idea from a cabin crew friend named Murilo. He came up with this little game on a late, sleepless night when he was browsing my Facebook wall and couldn’t help but notice my attraction to Brazilian music. In a joint effort to expand our respective iTunes libraries, and broaden our musical landscapes, we jointly thought this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase the best of both worlds. Murilo battling against Sodwee in death matches between two countries, with our respective musical scenes as weapons. In our case, Brazil and France. So here we are… I jumped onto photoshop and came up with this logo and play-on-words dash catch phrase : BRA/NCH… I’ll let you figure it out huh !…

… But we needed some frame set to work with. So we drafted a few basic rules, as follows, if you think we need to be a little more restrictive, head to the comment section and tell us what you have on your mind :

  1. Each country has to submit a local artist.
  2. The artist or band must sing in french for Sodwee, Portuguese for Murilo.
  3. Each opponent will submit an artist or band of similar genre.
  4. Each submission has to be different, if same artist/band, he/they must evolve in a different project.
  5. We will enable readers to vote for their favorite submission for each round.

And so we head on for our first death match :

Murilo sent me the track from Marcelo D2 and that’s what he says about his pick :
Marcelo D2 was Planet Hemp’s front man till the end of the 90’s when he started his solo career. His music is a mix of hip hop with samba and funk.A Maldição do Samba is a super fun track, full of swing from the album “A Procura da Batida Berfeita” (Looking for the Perfect Beat) and for me its great to warm up before party time.

Marcelo D2 – A Maldição Do Samba [audio:https://sodwee.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/04-A-Maldicao-Do-Samba.mp3]

A former vocalist of the band Planet Hemp, he started his solo career in 1998 with the album Eu Tiro É Onda. The album was recorded in his studio by David Corcos, and was mixed in New York and Los Angeles by Carlos Bass and Mário Caldato Jr. Eu Tiro É Onda was well accepted by the public and rap movement within São Paulo, earning respect from names such as Black Alien, Zé Gonzalez, Dj nuts and Bnegão.

Marcelo returned to Rio de Janeiro with a pregnant girlfriend who gave birth to his son Luca. He found renewed success after restarting his solo career with the participation of the Hemp Family, a group formed by the pioneers of rap in Rio de Janeiro.

In 2003 he released À Procura da Batida Perfeita (Portuguese for “Looking for the perfect beat”, a reference to an Afrika Bambaataasong of the same name) produced by Beastie Boys producer Mario Caldato. The album mixed hip-hop with samba, and included a collaboration with will.i.am from The Black Eyed Peas. The album was a hit, and led to an Acústico MTV performance, analogous toMTV Unplugged in the United States. The album was released with the English title in Asia, Europe, and North America. Finally, the album was promoted with a two-year tour.

Marcelo D2 appeared as a guest performer on two tracks of Sérgio Mendes’ album Timeless.

His third album Meu Samba É Assim (“My Samba Is Like This”) was released May 8, 2006. It features Chali 2na of Jurassic 5 on the track “That’s What I Got”.

In 2010, Marcelo D2’s video “Meu Tambor” Directed by Gandja Monteiro and Producer by Matthieu Dahdah was nominated for Video of the Year for MTV Brasil.

Now onto Sodwee’s pick to battle Marcelo D2… The second I heard the first few verses of “A Maldição Do Samba” I knew pretty straight away that I had to pick an artist, or in this case, and rap crew from our ever prolific local hip-hop scene. And my pick reflects my early teen years. Supreme NTM was a widely popular rap crew that comprises rappers Joey Starr (born Didier Morville) and Kool Shen (born Bruno Lopès). They formed in 1989 in the Seine-Saint-Denis department (distrito ?) North-East of Paris (literally 10 minutes away by car from where I live). These guys were all over the radio and every Discman audio player at the time (because iPod weren’t around them)…

Supreme NTM – Ma Benz [audio:https://sodwee.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/07-Ma-Benz.mp3]

“The group takes its name from the French slang “NTM”, an abbreviation for “Nique Ta Mère” (“Nique” is derived from the shortening of the French word “forniquer” (fornicate)) meaning “Fuck Your Mother”. NTM is known for their hostility towards the police, violent lyrics, and legal battles with the French authorities. Their musical style is predominantly hardcore rap, although later albums include funk, souland reggae influences. The group is outspokenly critical of racism and class inequality in French society, and while their earlier music is violent, some of their later work, such as “Pose ton Gun” (“Put down your Gun”), is explicitly anti-violent.

While officially the band still exists, and its well-known name was used in 2001 to promote a ‘duel’ album pitting the two label’s artists against each other, Kool Shen was quoted in 2004 saying “on a fini avec NTM en 98” (“We were done with NTM in 1998”).

The group is known for its gritty, dark and sometimes violent lyrics, as well as for the contrast between the two rappers’ styles. While Joey Starr (also known as Jaguar Gorgonne and Double-R) has a relatively slow flow, aggressive lyrics and a deep, booming voice (which he sometimes uses to yell such as in “Pose ton Gun”), Kool Shen has a funkier flow as well as witty and rather melancholic lyrics.”


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