feature: brazilian rapper nego e brings black lives matter (vidas negras importam) to são paulo in new visual for his song “lua negra (black moon)”

September 30, 2016

In the same week that mass protests reignited in the US because of the murder of black men by police, Brazilian rapper Nego E released the video for his single Lua Negra (Black Moon), in which he translates the tag #BlackLivesMatter to the Brazilian rap scene (#VidasNegrasImportam).

Since 2015, Kendrick Lamar (with To Pimp a Butterfly) and Beyoncé (with Formation, 2016) threw the door open to the debate on police violence against the black community and even those who didn’t want to discuss it, had to do it. This has inspired many other artists to take a position on racism, themselves. And this time, it’s Brazilian rapper Nego E who used his music as a platform to talk racism and police violence.

By Robin Batista*, AFROPUNK Contributor

If the reality of institutional racism isn’t something new in Brazil, it seems that people miss references to get them out of their comfort zones and do something. The single Lua Negra, produced by Grou, tries to bring those references. Lua Negra is part of the album entitled Ocean, to be released in October and features appearances by artists like Drik Barbosa, Rincon Sapiência and Helibrown, and beyond, bringing together different generations of the brazilian rap scene, with KL Jay and MC Soffia. The range also includes lines of people who were victims of police racism or who had relatives in this condition.

On bringing the #BlackLivesMatter tag to the Brazilian context, Nego E says, “we see in the music scene all of this North American influence, but it happens in another way, often with topics like money, drugs and sex. Meanwhile, there are not enough people, in this new generation, talking about racism, talking about how it is to be black in Brazil. So I wanted to bring the #VidasNegrasImportam tag to be one of our references. “

Video Credits:
Direction: Nego E
Art direction: MOOC
Photography direction: Catarina Martins Tenório
Project and screenplay: Artefato Produções, MOOC

*Robin Batista is a São Paulo-based designer and AFROPUNK’s contributor.
Instagram: @robinbatista_