Friday, August 5, 2011

Sample Series II: Looking for the Perfect Beat in Samba: "A Procura da Batida Perfeita"

(This post is the second installment in my Sample Series)

My students were asking what song we have been dancing to in class the past few weeks. Here it is:



"A Procura da Batida Perfeita" by Marcelo D2 (on A Procura da Batida Perfeita, Sony BMG Brasil, 2003)

A Procura da Batida Perfeita means "looking for the perfect beat"; probably a reference to Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force's "Looking for the Perfect Beat" (single released 1983 from Planet Rock).

"A Procura da Batida Perfeita" starts out telling the story of an artist who makes it big and becomes focused on pursuing material wealth and status, of which D2 is critical. He puts himself in opposition to the materialistic type saying it's not money that makes him happy ("não é um saco de dinheiro que me deixa feliz"). Instead D2 states he is about staying true to the music, committed to the roots of samba and hip hop. As the hook says, "Eu vou no samba, a procura da batida perfeita" (I go through samba to look for the perfect beat).

Some of my Brazilian friends are critical of D2 saying he is not really as "true" or genuine a part of Brazilian hip hop culture as other equally talented yet less internationally recognized rap acts like DMN (the founder of which happens to be currently based in the Bronx and is a personal friend of mine, Eli Efi), Racionais MCs or Rappin' Hood.

But this may be a subject for another post...for now, enjoy "A Procura da Batida Perfeita".

Lyrics aside, I can't deny that the production on this track is really quite nice. Personnel: produced and mixed by Davi Corcos; bass: Kool G Murder; drums: Mamão; percussion: Tuca; moog: Davi Corcos; scratching: Mixmastermike; sample: "Bonfa Nova" by Luiz Bonfá (Universal Music).

(My fellow music heads may find it interesting that Luiz Bonfá's guitar was sampled by late producer Jay Dee for California-based hip hop group The Pharcyde. See my 10/24/2010 Sample Series post on this)