chapter  16
" Good Blood in the Veins of This Brazi l ian Rio," or aCannibalist
ByFrederick Moehn
Pages 13

T h e work of certain contemporary Brazilian pop musicians expresses an identity that stresses transnational links while engaging with local histories, traditions, and values. T h e music makers considered here draw on styles that range f rom the national and regional Brazilian traditions of samba, maracatu, and coco, to the now-international genres of disco, rap, reggae, and rock. These Brazilian artists tend to view the varied effects of the trend toward global interconnectedness f rom an optimistic yet critical perspective. In their interpretations of popular

musical trends, such artists as Fernanda Abreu, Ch ico Science, and Carl inhos Brown often draw on two of the central discourses on Brazilian identity: miscegenation and antropofagia, anthropophagy or cultural cannibalism. T h e celebration of miscegenation, the best known expression of which is Gilberto Freyre's The Masters and the Slaves (Casa grande e senzala, 1933), is essentially a dis-

course on Brazilian national cul ture. Freyre was one of the first m e m b e r s of the

elite to c h a m p i o n racial mixing in Brazil and to recognize that Afro-Brazilian

cul ture was one of Brazil's greatest resources, a source of nat ional pride. The

Masters and the Slaves was the most forceful s ta tement of the elite's growing awareness of the uniqueness of the country's populat ion, and of the impor tance

of the African and indigenous contr ibut ions to its cul ture . This was a general

t rend which , in music, cu lmina ted with populist president Getu l io Vargas's suc-

cessful adopt ion of samba as Brazil's nat ional music.1