Man 019 | November 5, 2007

MC Gringo is the only Non-Brazilian, who has made his way to the top in baile funk scene of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Each weekend, the Stuttgart born German MC, who’s full name is Bernhard Hendrik Hermann Weber Ramos De Lacerda, performs on various baile funk parties all across Rio. The audience at his shows is mostly divided: Some hate Gringo, some love him. With his intelligent, sometimes ironic lyrics, his laid back, communicative attitude Gringo has gathered a fan following in Rio de Janeiro – mostly amongst the female cariocas. Considering the short time Gringo lives in Rio, he has made it to the premiere league in the funk game, performing in endless radio and TV shows. He is considered the only established vocalist with an international background in the entire Brazilian showbusiness. MC Gringo loves to perform his songs in Portugese, wearing the shirt of his favourite soccer team, the VfB Stuttgart (German football champion 2007).

Already in the late 1980s Gringo exercised his rapping techniques in his German hometwon, parallely, he played bass in a punk band with Basti Schwarz, one of the brothers of today world famous DJ duo Tiefschwarz. Later, Gringo was the founder, singer and guitarist in the ska band „The Lodgers“, which performed shows all across Europe. When he fell in love with a Brazilian girl – now his wife – he decided to move to Minais Gerais, where he remained two years before finally moving to Rio De Janeiro in 2004. Shortly after arriving in Rio Gringo and his wife got funkafied and Gringo started to write his own lyrics and work on beat arrangements on his cheap PC. His first direct contact to the funk scene was MC Binho, a „trocador“ in one of the hundreds of vans, that make the alternative public transport in Rio. On his travels throughout the city Binho always rapped, one day Gringo heard his rhymes and suggested to exchange ideas and thoughts. It was the start of a big friendship and led to dozens of joint shows.

In the meantime, he had to fight his way hard to the top. After three and half years of hard work in funk, Gringo is now proud to present his first Mini-Album, called „Gringão“. It features him on lead vocals on mostly all the tracks, guest MCs are his long time collaborator MC Binho and MC Dandão, who has already participated in the Funk Mundial release by Crookers on Man Recordings. Large parts of the release were produced by both MC Gringo and Amazing Clay in the infamous Amazing Studios next to the Maracana stadium in Rio De Janeiro. Other producers involved are DJ Sandrinho and DJ Rafael. „Gringão“ contains various styles of baile funk, all defined by the magic voice and personality of MC Gringo.

Commentaries on the MC Gringo tracks:


1 Real feat. MC Binho
Produced By Amazing Clay

What kind of fun can you get for one Real, (Real = Brazilian currency) MC Gringo and MC Binho tell it, what they do if they have some little money to spend. „1 Real“ is produced by DJ Amazing Clay, who was the first funk producer to put Gringo on the microphone in the infamous „Studio Amazing“, right next to the Maracaña stadium. Together Gringo and Clay have been working on their definition of baile funk and also run a weekly radio show which gets broadcasted on the internet. For „1 Real“ Gringo teamed up with MC Binho, whose daily job is working as a „Trocador“, a cashier in one of the mini vans that cross Rio de Janeiro day and night. Gringo and Binho met in one of these vans and ever since have been performing in many shows together – and have made endless mini bus travels, always on the search for a new baile.

Perninha Depilada
Produced by DJ Sandrinho

MC Gringo and DJ Sandrinho regularly meet up in Sandrinho’s studio in the favela of Borel in Tijuca, to record humurous Funk tracks. DJ Sandrinho thinks they suit Gringo the best. „Perninha Depilada“ is a call to all carioca girls to return to the old fashion of leg shaving. In the Brazilian summer of 2007, females in Rio colored their leg hairs instead of shaving them. The song divides the funk community in Rio – for some, Gringo is going to far. The biggest fan of „Perninha Depilada“ however is the highly regarded old school Funk MC „BIG RAP“ who calls „Perninha Depilada“ revolutionary. For „Perninha Depilada“ there’s a low budget music video, which was shot in a beauty saloon in the favela Rocinha.

Arrastão – Euromix
Produced by DJ Sandrinho

„Arrastão“ are mass assaults on Rio’s shores, which have been occasionally happening on world famous Copacabana beach. With a grooving beat and a murderous hook, this track is destroying dancefloors all over the place. DJ Sandrinho´s „Euromix“ brings in a Baltimore flavour.

Pula Com Os Cuecas feat. MC Dandão
Produced by Amazing Clay

Both MC Gringo and MC Dandão share a common destiny: The loss of their parents at an early age has glued the two MCs together and formed a tight friendship. „Pula Com os Cuecas“ means „Jump in your underwear“, meaning, „girls, go with the boys“ and it’s a party track by Dandão and Gringo which has become a secret hit in Rio de Janeiro. Produced by DJ Rafael from the Parque São José in Gramacho, one of Rio’s suburbs, close to the biggest waste dump of South America. The track was produced in 2006 and was one of the first in which a harmonica sample was used – which appears in many Rio funk tracks today.

Produced by DJ Amazing Clay

Baile Funk is about Parties, Girls and Fun lyricss. But every MC has his serious issues. The ambitions of MC Gringo in reality is a severe fight – and racism is everywhere. MC Gringo doesnt want to brag about it but reflects in „Alemão“ on experiences he had in his career in recent years. Gringo uses the word „Alemão“ (=German), which has a double meaning in the favelas of Rio, where „Alemão“ means a rival drug gang or the police. The trombone solo in „Alemão“ is from Dr.Ring Ding, an old friend of Gringo, whom he knows from his years in El Bosso + Die Ping Pongs and/or The Lodgers. While Dr.Ring Ding received success in Jamaica, Gringo received it in Brazil.