In the state of Bahia, Brazil, popular music since the 1970s has moved well beyond the conventional boundaries of the musical universe.1 The affirmation of identity, and the hegemony of a set of signs appealing to both the consumer public and the music industry, have been put into play, attracting national and even global audiences. The music of Bahia has appealed to a young, poor, semischooled, black and mestiço audience, avidly consuming symbolic and material goods. These musical codes derive from such sources as funk, rap, salsa, samba, romantic music, and the Afro-Brazilian religion, Candomblé. Extra-musical concerns that encompass individualistic sentimentalism, the search for a mythical and pure Africa, global discourses on race, the exploration of body languages, and the crystallization of a Bahian identity associated with black cultural production also play a significant role. In this chapter, the band Timbalada and its
founder, Carlinhos Brown, offer a point of departure for a discussion of how black music and subjectivity are constituted and transformed in a context of cultural globalization.