Beyoncé-mania hits Brazil as singer arrives for a series of shows; Bey’s performance of popular Rio funk hit inspires song’s group

Taken from the "Beyoncé Now" website
Taken from the “Beyoncé Now” website

BW of Brazil: It’s funny how someone’s popularity can go beyond categories and be featured in areas and spaces that they have nothing to do with. Such is the case of one Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, one of the world’s most popular entertainers, who arrived for a series of shows throughout Brazil starting last week in Fortaleza, Ceará (northeastern region).

Bey featured on the current cover of Brazil's only magazine targeted at the Afro-Brazilian community, Raça Brasil
Bey featured on the current cover of Brazil’s only magazine targeted at the Afro-Brazilian community, Raça Brasil

In reality, Beyoncé, not being a black woman from Brazil, has no reason to even be on this blog, but as her influence in Brazil is so huge it’s impossible to mention her highly anticipated arrival. Even not being Brazilian, Beyoncé’s name has been mentioned on this blog a number of times. Why? First because of the Brazilian media’s penchant for tagging nearly any pretty black Brazilian female public figure the “Brazilian Beyoncé”. Or, her influence on black Brazilian women hair styles, copy cats of her ever popular “Single Ladies” video, her declaration on ancestry (and thus race) and even her name itself which was borrowed by a popular Rio MC. 

Singer performs in "Rock in Rio" festival
Singer performs in “Rock in Rio” festival

The anticipation and arrival of the “Mrs. Carter” tour stop in Brazil hit a peak as the singer’s image has been plastered on numerous newspapers and magazine covers, a blog covering her tour in Brazil (photo at top of page) and of course a Beyoncé dance and lip sync competition. Check out the video. 

Beyoncé’s performance in Rio was actually very special for a popular Rio-based funk group whose popular song Beyoncé danced to in the middle of her own show. The intersection of race, media and representation in regards to funk music is another popular topic on this blog. The genre which is connected to its origins in poor, predominantly black neighborhoods has been the target of endless ridicule by Brazil’s middle and upper classes but is now being accepted in some of these circles because of a lighter skinned performer who many say has lightened the sound of the funk and even her skin color (according to some) to achieve mainstream success that has mostly alluded the genre’s black performers. The performance of such a song by an international superstar of Beyoncé’s stature would be huge for any aspiring singer or songwriter, even more so for artists of a genre that has been so disrespected as “funk carioca”. 

See the story, Beyoncé’s performance of the song and the original group’s performance below. 

After Beyoncé concert , Leleks makes protest track to give to the singer

MC Federado and os Leleks have been prohibited from performing their hit song that Beyoncé performed in her Rio show
MC Federado and os Leleks have been prohibited from performing their hit song that Beyoncé performed in her Rio show

by Globo  Extra

MC Federado and os Leleks are forbidden to sing the hit “Passinho do volante”

The most anticipated attraction of the first day of Rock in Rio, Beyoncé surprised and excited the audience when she played and danced to the funk hit “Passinho do volante”, which contains the refrain “Ah, Lelek lek lek”.

The success of the performance spotlighted the song again, and now MC Federado and os Leleks, forbidden from performing their hit, want to protest. The music that blew up in 2013 is the center of a court battle that has unfolded since March. An injunction issued by the 49th Civil Court of the capital of Rio de Janeiro forbade members signed by Furacão 2000 – Paulo Victor  (Federado), Allan and Alex – from singing the song .

Now, the funkeiros want to write a track to thank the American diva and at the same time, protest the ban.

“If I stop to think about what I want to tell her, everything that I wanted to thank her for, would have to be a huge track. We want to give her a hug. If I have a chance to talk to her, I would talk about everything that is happening to us, of the people who want to take away our shine,” says Paulo Victor, 18.

He says he was in the street when friends told him that Beyoncé was performing to the sound of the hit.

“At first I didn’t believe it. But when I got home, I saw the video. All that everyone was talking about was this. I don’t know. It was like the phoenix, reborn from the ashes. I felt the same thing when I saw (soccer superstar) Neymar dancing. I cried, I called my father and my mother. I talked to everyone – emphasizes the funkeiro, who hopes the buzz around the singer’s show will help reverse the judgment: – We were deprived of singing it, this song was our breadwinner. We all need to support our families. It’s a bad thing to lack money to pay bills, eat, not having money to have fun.”

The court battle

Confusion backstage and made MC Federado and os Leleks be one group and os Lelekes, a different one. The two fought in court for the right to sing “Passinho do volante”, and currently group formation consisting of Renan, Jean, Raphael and Vitor is the only one authorized. But only Renan was in the video that rocked the internet and made ​​the music blow up.

The dispute began in March, when the group MC Federado and os Lelekes, riding the wave of the success, were represented by Lek Produções, of funkeiro MC Dieddy. Until Paulo Victor (Federado) , Allan and Alex signed with Furacão 2000 accusing Dieddy not sharing the money of the shows correctly. Currently, the trio cannot perform in concert halls, the radio and television, under penalty of use of police force and a fine of R$100,000 (US$43,800).

Source: Globo Extra

Beyonce performs “Leleke leke leke (Passinho do Volante)” at Rock in Rio 2013

Ah lelek lek – Mc Federado e os Lelekes – Passinho do Volante

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.


  1. Since when Beyonce represents black women?

    A women who uses her hair as a Barbie as a white women,

    who employ dancers with a very African features to be her dancers; when she her self the whiter with whiter look is in the middle???

    She who had thinner her nose and denied her blackness!

    Clearly the author likes Beyonce. I have no problem of people enjoying her. OMG she is part of a millionaire pop music production! Why on earth she makes success in Brazil? Are we forgetting she is just a product as J Lo, Madona, Michael Jackson and etc e tal; who all have a good success over here. Not because of skin colour but because of power relations existing between brazil and American midia.

    I just wished Americans could really produce a real African women as an artist; at least a black women who has proud of her blackness.

  2. People here are forgetting how many women are sexual abused in baile funks; how many journalists where murder in brazil trying to investigate in deeper the teenager exploitation on those events. Just to remind most of the teenagers exploited are Pardas and negras. But who cares about Them? As far as it far from the upp class. It is not a problem. Funk is the worst music movement Brasil could ever created.

    Not even here in this website I read something serious and important about teenagers being sexual exploited on those baile funks.

    Sometimes I have the sense the unheard will be always unheard. Underrepresented. Very sad.

  3. Beyonce is awesome! I love her she is a good singer and is proud of her heritage as a Black woman.

    Black women & girls, no matter if in USA, Brasil, Africa, West Indies, Europe, etc NEED to stick together!

    Julia, Beyonce only do to her hair what these Black men want to see. Most women want to look pretty for the men in their lives. It is not correct to blame the women for this.

    Abuse of Black girls in Brasilian funk is very sad and I wish Black males would STOP hating Black women & girls all over the world.

    • BWOB can you PLEASE delete this comment of mine? It did not come out right and I regret it very much. PLEASE remove it PLEASE!

  4. A few things here.

    First, at Julia.

    There is no problem with you expressing your opinion, which is fine. But from time to time it is necessary to interject a few things. First of all, DO understand, in most posts in the past year, opinions and notes specifically by BW of Brazil are marked as “Note from BW of Brazil”. The author of the piece on Beyonce below the end of the “Note from BW of Brazil” part is actually by Globo Extra. In reality, BW of Brazil does not “clearly like Beyonce”. This post and any features about Beyonce on this blog are simply a note of how the Brazilian press seems to adore her. One of this blog posts from several months ago contrasted how black American women influenced Zeze Motta to wear her natural hair in the 1970s instead of a wig and how the biggest black star on the planet is influencing black Brazilian women like Roberta Rodrigues to wear blond highlighted weave. The intent is merely to note her influence, good or bad. It is NOT an endorsement!

    Also, in regards to your comment: “Funk is the worst music movement Brasil could ever created.”

    BW of Brazil is also not a fan of this Brazilian genre known as Funk which is completely different from the 1970s American sound known as Funk. But while the blog is not a fan of Funk, we DO respect the right of poor, black Brazilians to create music with whatever resources they have at their disposal. As has been shown in a few articles on this blog, black Brazilian artists have long been nearly completely frozen out of Brazil’s lucrative MPB market that is dominated by white artists. In the US in the 60s and 70s, one can find thousands of black Jazz artists creating highly technical, innovative music.But where is the Brazilian Jimi Hendrix? Where is the Brazilian John Coltrane?

    BW of Brazil doesn’t care for Funk Carioca, but the blog respects the space for these artists. Hip Hop was also criticized by critics who thought it was garbage, too urban and too black. At some point, disregarding an artists’ music goes beyond the music itself. It aligns you with the middle and upper classes who have also disregarded this music as garbage. There are many forms of music that one may not like, but musician/singer Prince said it best in an interview many years. If you don’t like a certain music, don’t criticize, just don’t listen to it. There are others who DO like it. And these artists have a right to be create their music even if it doesn’t get the same respect as music by Marisa Monte.

    On your last comment: “Not even here in this website I read something serious and important about teenagers being sexual exploited on those baile funks.”

    Please make a note. This is one blog that cannot cover ALL of the problems of Brazilian society. In the future, who knows, this may be a topic that this blog will cover. For example, there are countless important black Brazilian women to write about but it is simply not possible to cover everyone without a huge staff that is well funded and submitting articles everyday. What blog do you know that can cover ALL topics? There’s plenty of space to go around. If this is a topic you are thinking of now, why don’t YOU write a piece about it?

    At The Phoenix: Please DO post another comment exactly how you want to phrase it.

    • Thanks for your reply.

      I didn’t mean this site liked or not her. But the author of the text; lets put it globo has a massive interest and profit in mainstream mass cultural events.

      I do feel disappointed here because I feel has a lack of deeper criticism.

      But may be it is my personal opinion. I don’t mean to offend. I had said before I had read lovely things here too.

      The Phoenix, u who loves beyonce; I can’t argue against someone who thinks a women should please her man, and to do that; she must look less black. I will respect your opinion not surprisingly the hair business inside our black community is a millionaire business – I am here hoping we can face our real Afro look. Not this invention. You are with the mass; who loves her and who thinks it is normal to not be black.

      Gatasnegras well remind of our black militants from 60s 70s they knew our struggle. It haven’t changed much.

      MPB; boss’s nova it is the jazzification of our samba because anglophonic audience can’t bear our drums! I don’t want to go there. I have no doubt the American civil rights movements from 60s had influenced all nations around the globo and had influence our black singers as well!

      I am proud of it! The saddest thing is too see Rihana; Beyonce having any king of representation of black movements when they are so light skin; never ever use their African hair. They do nothing political except to keep the exploitation of the feminine body. ( we know it is a universal feminine struggle at the moment ) here comes people like Phoenix who thinks it is normal that.

      No one is saying we don’t want to be sexy and desired we all want that; which cost? After plastic surgery to thin my nose ? After going weekly to the hair saloon and spending more than 10000 dollars??? What kind of beauty is that? What kind of blackness flag is that? What messaging is passing to young black girls? First you must be lighter skin, second you must not have a African hair? Third you must not have a black nose??? I feel difficult to hear those things and not saying anything. I feel how can be difficult to see those constructions deny to most of us Afro descendants the right of being. Because we are not allowed to exist. We are allowed to reform ourselves to literally reconstruct to be accepted as living thing.

      I thought this is our fight to live and exist with more equal rights than the white skin.

      • Our Jim Hendrix the most amazing guitar player.

        Btw she is not black …. How would you describe her?

        She is typical sul matogrossense! Our classic Parda! Might be that because you haven’t heard of her 😉 ( I am just teasing you)

        Our john is hermeto pascoal….sorry he is albino so we won’t be able to label him black or white …

        Both of them were very excluded from society – hermeto couldn’t be anything – tell me one albino American musician who is that famous? Just a colour blindness as you insist in categorised Brazilian society could had given acceptance for his talent.

        I am thanked for Prince advice, but I can’t accept children exploitation for the sake of music taste. It is against the law to exploit underage girls and specially those living under poverty in a very vulnerable situation. When the middle class are debating if the poor has or not right to express their musical taste.

        The middle is never a political choice! I am feminist it is hard to see anything in brazil which is not chauvinist but the funk movement is unethical. It is beyond the acceptance. I am against children’s soft porn for that I am against funk.

  5. Dang, why the hate on Bey??? I appreciate the fact that a black woman worked her way up through negativity from the public to become this multimillion dollar brand. Not many can do that in 2013, in particular a woman of African descent.

    • That is My point, if you think she is black and represents black women you and USA are clearly colour blindness.

      She represents the black whitened enough to be accepted as not African anymore.

      Lets put it – Americans are becoming brazilians from the begining of 20th century.

      Nothing against her, but against the link of her with blackness.

  6. Singing a song is nice, but if would be even nicer if Beyonce reaches out to the Brailian diaspora and creates a series of cross-disporan projects and events that get these great black talents more exposure and support. It would be literally chump change for her to back such projects. Just a small percent of her fee for this gig would support and encourage scores of worthy black Brazilian artists..

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