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July 31, 2008



LF is a friend of mine. He's still an MC.

He was featured in the Brazilian magazine, RAP BRASIL, with his Dominican gf Loira, who is a DJ and also the producer of Estilo Hip Hop.

She and Luiz (LF) traveled to the countries featured where he performed.

While MV Bill is definitely an amazing MC and incredible in terms of the social projects he engenders, due to the fact that Loira is based in NYC, Luiz is a lot more logistically accessible in terms of filming/budget/etc.

For those of us not in NYC (like me) who won't see the film at the festival, it is scheduled to air on PBS early next year.


Rio Gringa

I feel like I should be surprised you know him, but somehow I'm not :)

It makes a lot of sense that they picked him if his girlfriend is the filmmaker! That's kind of cute actually. The film is definitely worth seeing!

Loira Limbal

Dear Gringa,

My name is Loira Limbal and I'm one of the directors of Estilo. I stumbled upon this post doing a search for a different blog related to my film. First off, thank you for having gone to see our film.

I'm going to respond to a few of your points. It's pretty bold of you to say "maybe the filmmakers were scared to go to the City of God, where he lives" without knowing anything about us.

As a critical afro-latina woman that grew up in the hood of the United States, I've never believed any of the hype that the media sells about poor and black communities anywhere in the world, so no, I was not scared any of the times that I visited City of God, Complexo do Alemão, Morro do Pavão, and countless other favelas where I developed amazing friendships. I actually translated a great critique of the film City of God written by a good friend and life long resident of City of God. If you're interested, you can access it here: http://www.brownpride.com/articles/article.asp?a=143

Interestingly enough, none of the main characters were our initial choices. For Brazil, we entertained a few different folks from São Paulo (since it's the Mecca of Brazilian Hip Hop) like Mano Brown of Racionais MCs. All three of the film's main characters were initially part of our crew. They all worked as Associate Producers helping us schedule shoots and logistics in each country.

Through the process of working with them we saw their level of humility, integrity, talent, and how they were truly respected and well-liked by everyone in their respective hip hop communities. Their relationships were such that they were able to set up interviews for us with everyone no matter how famous. This made us realize that they should be our main characters. It took a lot of coaxing to get them to agree to be the protagonists but luckily they agreed.

Our goal with Estilo Hip Hop was to make a powerful film that showed the aspects rarely seen about artists & activists of color and I for one am sure that we made the right choice.

Also, fyi no self-respecting hip hop head in Brazil would ever mention Gabriel O Pensador when listing hip hop groups in Brazil.

Loira Limbal


I would like to say something to you, just to explain some accusations that you've made in the comment.

First: What's the point about feeling scared inside the favela? What is the big deal that you felt so offended when Rachel mentioned that?

That shows how naive you are, because, if you knew more about how things work there, you never would have said that. The problems with violence in the favelas is not with the pepole who live there, but with the police who go inside there without warning. The people who live in favelas feel scared about police invasions when, so many innocent people have been killed.

It's no big deal when someone who lived in Brazil for many years and knows exactly how the things go, said:
"maybe the filmmakers were scared to go to the City of God, where he lives". Feeling scared means: to know where you are and what could happen there.

The second point is:

Gabriel o Pensador is one of greatest artists in Brazil, who raps about Brazilian problems. Just to remind you, Rapping is the genre of poetry and music in which rhyming lyrics are used, with or without musical accompaniment. And Gabriel o Pensador does use rhyming lyrics

That's all,




I didn't make any accusations. I actually made a defense in response to insinuations that were made. In either case, I welcome the debate. It's one of the great by products of the internet. I lived in Brazil for over a year and I know that due to discrimation when people say "scared of going to the favela" they are not usually talking about the police and in fact they are talking about the residents and the general environment. There is a lot of class and racial discrimination in Brazil and those types of comments reinforce that mentality. In short, I do think that we are agreeing on the fact that the residents of favelas are not the cause of the violence witnessed in major cities like Rio and instead a larger system of inequality and corruption.

In terms of Gabriel o Pensador, I think we should agree to disagree. I definitely do not agree that he is one of the greatest artists in Brazil and certainly not seen as a legitimate rapper by the hip hop community itself. He is definitely a media darling and considered a great rapper by people like Xuxa, but the community itself thinks otherwise.


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