Note from BW of Brazil: Rio-style funk has been around for some time; at least two decades. And the genre has produced a number of its own stars, both underground and those that manage more mainstream success. Funk singers such as Tati Quebra Barraco, Mr. Catra, MC Ludmilla, Bonde das Maravilhas and Valesca Popozuda have been featured in previous posts for the simple fact that they are part of a cultural scene that one should be familiar with when dealing with issues of race, gender and class in Brazil. Once (and still for many) considered cultural trash, the funk movement began to find mainstream success with the so-called Ostentation Funk, a sort of funk modeled after the flashy bling bling era of American Hip Hop. Funk has been the topic of books, documentaries and now even a reality show as shown on the Fox Life Brasil network. Rio native MC Carol is part of this series and she is featured below in today’s post.
MC Carol’s turn
By Ana Luisa Abdalla
Black, fat and community resident, the Rio funkeira steals the scene going toe to toe with standards of beauty.
The funkeira Tati Quebra Barraco, along with producer Rafael Ramos, chose five women of funk to form a new musical group. Under the command of Tati, they are being prepared to share the stage and perform an unforgettable show. That’s the premise of the reality show The Lucky Ladies, shown on Fox Life Brasil TV since April, which put Carol MC, MC Sabrina, Mary Sylvester, Karol K and Mulher Filé in the same luxurious penthouse in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro.
MC Carol has stolen the show since the first episode. At 21, the funkeira speaks proudly of the Morro do Preventório, the Niterói community where she has lived since birth. With all charisma and swagger, she says she’s fat, yes, and sexy, yes. In the program, she spoke of her jealous husband, “who broke her things” and locked her in the house, and what she did so that he would change his behavior: “I went to the police station to register the complaint and he had to bring himself down,” she told Tpm (magazine). With attitude, MC Carol became an example in discussions about sexism and the relationship of women with their bodies. “I realized that I could be a voice.”
When did you begin attending bailes funk (funk dances)?
I was 16, 17 years old. The first time I went to a dance, I was called to sing, I didn’t know how to dance. The public liked me and every week I came back with someone’s help because I didn’t have money for bus fare. Until I went to Furacão 2000 [producer and record label for Rio funk music] and on TV.
Have you been singing a long time?
It’s been five years. I decided I wanted to do it when I went on stage and saw that everyone was shouting my name and singing my songs.
Were you always fat?
How do you deal with that?
I never suffered prejudice by being fat, only within the family were there some jokes. Now, being black, I’ve suffered prejudice, but I always had a lot of self-esteem, I’ve always been very upbeat.
In Lucky Ladies, you talked about the relationship with your husband, he locked you in the house and was very jealous. Why did you continue with him?
Yes, I told that he broke things in the house and I assaulted him. I stayed because I love my husband and my husband loves me, I believed he could change – and he changed. Previously he was obsessive and today is much more relaxed in respect to jealousy.
Do you have a song that says “My boyfriend is the biggest sucker/He washes my panties.” Who was this boyfriend?
I made a song before getting with my husband and it ended up that the neighborhood said that it was for him. I put “otário” (sucker) on it to add impact, but actually, I find intelligent a man who helps hid woman at home because if the large man throws everything on his wife’s back, how will the woman have the gas to make love? I can only make love nine times a day because my husband does everything in the house, it gives me a massage and leaves me relaxed!
When did you realize that you could be a voice for women?
Talking about myself in the music and social networks I inadvertently raised banners against the standards of beauty, sexism, prejudice and homophobia. I receive several messages from fans, men and women who identify with what I experienced, and that’s how I realized I could be an example.
Promo for Lucky Ladies with appearance from Mr. Catra