Deixa Isso Pra La

October 6, 2008 7:04 AM

For the current MeFiMu Challenge, here's a song in a language I don't speak. This bit of Portuguese proto-rap is a longtime standard in Brazil.

I actually first learned this little fragment of samba poetry when I was living in Boston, around the year 1978. I had a duo percussion band with a Brazilian guy named Junior Homrich, who taught it to me. I've been doing it off and on, on occasion, over the years: dropping it in spontaneously in improvised music situations and so forth. But it wasn't until this Challenge came up that I thought about recording it. And in fact, I didn't ever know anything about it, other than that it comes from Brazil, and that most Brazilians I've met (and tested it out on!) in the ensuing years seemed to know it. Anyway, web searches reveal that it's been performed and recorded by LOTS of Brazilian singers over the years. A search for the tune on YouTube will bring up plenty of results, some good, some not so good. My favorite version among what I've found on the net is this mp3 by Jair Rodriguez.

If you listen to the linked mp3 by Rodriguez, or any other version, I reckon, you'll note that this curious little song features the "rap" section as well as a sung part. I've left off the sung part for my cover version. I've also done it not in the usual samba feel but with a vaguely capoeira-like rhythmic feel, complete with faux-berimbau. The "berimbau" I'm using for that 2-note rhythm bit is a Cambodian two-string fiddle (though I'm only using 1 string!) that I bought just this past weekend at a flea market here in Tokyo. It's one of these: a tro. Obviously I'm not playing it with a bow, but rather with a stick, berimbau stylee, and pulling on the string to get the 2nd pitch.

Other instruments in use are WaveDrum (on a customized tabla patch), onboard clavinet, wooden rattley bell, a little battery-operated fan gadget playing a piece of metal, hand clap, and a kind of vocal bass line.

posted by flapjax at midnite (9 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Here's the Portuguese lyrics to the spoken part. Haven't found a translation in to English, though you'd think there'd be one around (I haven't looked too exhaustively). And by the way, there are syllables that I'm definitely mispronouncing. Apologies to native speakers!

Deixa que digam
Que pensem
Que falem

Deixa isso pralá
Vem pra cá
O que que tem
Eu não estou fazendo nada
Você tambem
Faz mal bater um papo
Assim gostoso com alguem ?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:21 AM on October 6, 2008

This is my favourite thing you've done.
The clav just takes it to another level, too.
posted by chococat at 3:49 PM on October 6, 2008

I too was gonna say that it is my favorite among the stuff you've posted, but I realize I've said that before, and I don't want to sound repetitive, so instead I'll say that it's really cool to hear you doing that sounds Brazillian, yet Japanese, African and many other things at the same time. Very cool version.
posted by micayetoca at 8:13 AM on October 8, 2008

What a great groove. I love the parts toward the end when it gets all frantic with the multiple vocal tracks.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 12:20 PM on October 8, 2008

Wow! Forgive my tardiness. I've listened to this a few times and it gets better every time.

Unlike micayetoca, I know LOTS of Brazillians (kidding, ofcourse). More seriously, I do have some Brazi friends and your vocal cadence sounds very true to the language.

So you know that I love your music, but are you a natural born linguist too? Damn! Very good estofes man!
posted by snsranch at 2:06 PM on October 10, 2008

Let them say

Leave that over there
Come over here
What's with you?
I'm not doing anything
You aren't either
What's wrong with a good rap
like this with someone?
posted by umbú at 1:17 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Parabéns, rapaz!

This sounds great--both the groove (as always) and your singing. Your pronunciation is totally understandable and fluent, with a light accent. I don't think a Brazilian would find this laughable at all.
posted by umbú at 1:19 PM on October 17, 2008

This one's incredible. Bravo !
posted by nicolin at 1:46 AM on October 20, 2008

(late to the party, as always)

Thanks for pointing me to this one. It has such a great groove that builds nicely to the end. I want all of your obscure instruments. NOW. Fire up the replicator, please, thanks.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 8:35 PM on July 17, 2009

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