Gaspar Z’África Brasil

AfroBassCapoeiraCocoHip HopRaggaRapRoots

Raised in the south zone of São Paulo by parents from the northeast of brasil, Gaspar grew up around north-eastern culture as well as the very strong local hip hop movement. Having spent nearly 2 decades working with this mix of the traditional with the urban, he has been a tireless advocate of afro-brazilian culture. Raised in what he calls a “social apartheid,” where afro-brazilians, indigenous and migrants from the north-east of brazil all live side by side in the quebrada, his music represents this huge mixture of people, races and cultures that exists in the periphery of São Paulo.

Founding member of the militant hip hop group, Z’África Brasil, their primary message is about social justice, racial equality and the valorization of Afro-Brazilian culture. They have released 4 records with collaborations with the likes of Zeca Baleiro, Toca Ogan and the French hip hop group, Assassin.

The new album, Rapsicordelico is the intersection of rap, poetry, and psychedelia (not to mention a heavy dose of boom-bap hip hop, ragga, dub, samba, coco, maracatu and jongo). Electronic programming (and live MPC) combines with a whole range of brazilian instruments – berimbau, atabaque, xekeré, agbé, pandeiro, as well as female choir accompaniments and a heavy weight crew of featured collaborators, from Emicida to Dexter to Lirinha. His lyrics are inspired as much by NE cordel literature, the verses of emboladores and repentistas, or the ladainhas of capoeiristas, as it is by north american hip hop (not the bling bling variety!).

Not only a vocalist, musician and composer, he also gives workshops on the 4 elements of hip hop as well traditional aspects of NE brazilian and afro-brazilian culture. He has written a book, “O Brasil é um Quilombo,” which contains unpublished text, poetry, lyrics as well as selections from his work with Z’África Brasil. Even if you don’t understand portuguese – check out the video EPK for the book – it’s worth it just to check out some of the art – especially the “map” of a human being from the cover of the book (by Rodrigo Bueno). The book is an excellent visual and textual context for the music. This was made with love and you can feel it just holding it in your hands.

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Tracks on Kafundó Records