MC Hariel celebrates the achievements, but does not stop questioning the “outdated vision of high-level music”, the “girls fanatical about everything American” and “the work done up there to keep the favela losing”.
“I smoke a cigarette and stop for a breath.” That’s how he creates the verses that put him in a special place in funk. He was nicknamed “Haridade” for his questioning and shrewd style.
From MC prodigy, bursting at the age of 16, he is already a reference and speaks like a veteran. In its shack, Vila Aurora, North Zone of São Paulo, opened a hairdressing salon and a music label, Xaolin Records.
- READ MORE: The Rebel Origin of MC Hariel
- Rock in Rio 2022 schedule
He has just finished the tour for the DVD “Mundao Girou”, which celebrates ten years of his career. The pace of concerts in the coming months should slow down, as he has just had his first child, Jorge, and wants to enjoy his family.
The son of a rebel musician from the group Raíces de América, part of the rebel generation of the 1970s, Hariel likes to “breezy”. The idea flow of the verses is similar in the interview with g1.
At Rock in Rio, he was invited by producer Papatinho to a show alongside rapper L7nnon and funk singer MC Carol. He knows that funk from the broken at the festival is rare. Or, as fans would say, “Haridade”. Read the conversation:
g1 – You have more audience than many artists who already have shows of their own at Rock in Rio. But you’re going for the first time, just for an appearance. Which is already rare for a funk artist. Do you think funk could be more valued by these festivals?
Hariel – I believe we will have to do ours. Our idea was never to compete, especially with these guys who have nothing to do with our race. It’s even annoying for me to keep saying that we don’t have space, because it starts to sound as if we want to “make the crazy”.
We don’t have space, but we will also conquer, one way or another. But maybe we don’t even want to. We want what is ours. We want our movement to be able to make Mundão Girou [DVD ao vivo de Hariel]that MC Ryan can make his DVD too.
But I’m sure these guys are a little over the top. The high-ranking kids… Everything has a hierarchy, right? These guys who are in control of the upper echelon of music, of music producers, have a somewhat outdated view of the stuff.
It’s not even worth it to be “peeling” with these guys. We came to show our history, our time. We are new, this is our time. They think they know, and we do it our way.
I think people lost the will to make mistakes a lot. And we don’t have that. People are always used to being labeled wrong. So we go and learn from the mistake.
They are already square. That’s why they don’t do much of what they always do. Never a novelty, never a different word. It’s always the same ideology. When an agenda comes up, they take advantage. They address that issue, which is never a topic they raise.
But it’s calm. We don’t even have to worry about them. We have to play our part, which will soon be our time too. And when it’s us who are there one day, do it totally different from what the people who are there do.
MC Hariel in an interview with g1 — Photo: GR6
g1 – And how do you, who have 10 years of career, manage to not be accommodated?
Hariel – I think everything is a cycle. And there is no cycle that only goes up. It makes a turn, comes back, and then goes up again. There is no straight cycle. I was talking to my team and they said, ‘You’ve managed to do stuff that a lot of guys haven’t been able to do in 10 years. What will happen now?”
And I said: “Bro, it’s page 2, it’s gone. Let’s go back there for the first year. What did we do? Let’s work, just like we used to work there.” But now we have another structure, we are in another reality, another level.
Let’s face it like it’s the first year of my career again. Maybe other guys could say, “Now I can work less, choose more.” But I deviated from that idea. I want to go back to the beginning. Of course, with what I have.
g1 – And how do you stay connected with the favela, where you grew up, the street where funk innovation comes from?
Hariel – I have to tell you that it’s been a while since I went to a favela dance. I think it’s a natural process of the favelado. There comes an age when he doesn’t feel very excited about going to the dance. You already have a child, family, other priorities.
But I like to stay in my hood. When I’m off, I stay in the salon I opened there, giving my trout a boost. There is a vision of a calf there that shaves a beard, a hair. I exchange an idea, play pool, take a shot, stay there in the corner with my friends.
At the front I have a label, Shaolin Records, with some kids, and I give them strength and direction. They have a lot of talent and sometimes they don’t have the opportunity.
When I dreamed of making a living out of it… I dreamed so much that I would meet certain people and be disappointed.
It’s hard to let this kid down. One was at the lighthouse, the other left on the other side of the city, catching trains, subways, everything to sing a funk song. You see yourself there and remember when it started.
MC Hariel — Photo: Wirso / Publicity
g1 – In your most recent song, “The end is sad”, you sing: “It’s that these guys imitate the gringos, I’m Brazilian / born Funkeiro, the heart and soul of a maloqueiro”. Because?
Hariel – I wanted to make a reference to a couple of politics and music that are fanatical about Americans, for a story that is not ours.
Brazilian history has several points of influence from other countries. But it also has several points to be valued in the story, in the music, in the style.
These guys idolize the outsiders more than the ones here. It happens a lot. There are very good people here who go crazy because the kids here can’t give a value or an incentive. He wants to criticize, make fun of, make fun of Brazilian things.
The lyrics are in this sense of valuing art, culture, everything that comes from Brazil. This is where we come from and we should be proud.
g1 – And it is common for the gringo to come here and find the funk very original.
Hariel – IT IS. Funk goes to the Grammys and the Brazilian criticizes. You think you shouldn’t be there. Weird girl.
g1 – And you are starring in a campaign for the new soccer team uniform. How was that?
Hariel – It was awesome, I was happy. I had a big brand (Lacoste) and when it passed, the uniform (Nike) arrived. This has been the best year of my life, both personally and professionally. My son, my family and the things I’m achieving.
May I be able to pass and open doors for others. Let funk begin to have value. That’s what we’re talking about, that Brazil sees that Brazilians aren’t clowning around.
That we don’t just want the beach, samba and carnival. We have dedication and a lot more than most people in the world. Which is claw, never give up. The Brazilian people have charisma, character and capacity.
It’s showing that funk and Brazilian music can also be in a global campaign, representing a brand.
Djonga and MC Hariel in the campaign for the new team uniform — Photo: Disclosure
g1 – Djonga is with you in this campaign, and even before that he was already pushing it, saying that the shirt belonged to everyone, not just a group.
Hariel – That’s it, too fucked up. I think that’s what the brand is trying to convey to us. That (the shirt) has no owner. There’s no use in anyone wanting to restrict.
It’s no use wanting to repress us, because the more you repress, the more we appear. Djonga there is victory, Hariel there is victory. So are players and athletes.
g1 – Your ideas flow easily. How do you write your songs?
Hariel – I don’t know, smoke a cigarette and stop to listen to the music. I was born to live this. I’ve delivered pizza, done a lot of things in my life. Things didn’t give me the money they give me today, but I managed to live, I never starved to death.
I don’t need to be desperate for money. So when I sit down to make music, that’s what excites me the most.
I even think about finishing my school to study Letters. Because I really like composition, I keep studying the rhymes.
MC Hariel in an interview with g1 — Photo: GR6
g1 – One of the coolest songs on your DVD is “Pirâmide Social”. You know you’ve gone up, but it’s still a pyramid, with a bunch of people at the bottom. How can I really change it? Because it is common for us to hear “the favela won” and not have won at all.
Hariel – I think the favela is used to the collective. When someone dies, the whole favela is sorry. The same thing if a favelado managed to win. ‘The favela won’ comes from this, from the collective. It doesn’t really mean that the history and parameters of the favela have changed.
From so few victories, when someone comes along who wins, everyone sees themselves in that. It doesn’t mean that all the problems have changed, that everything is over. It means that a favelado is winning. And I think that for the favela to win, it takes years of serious work, serious awareness, and complex work.
Because the work that is done at the top is completely the opposite: it is for the favela to continue losing. Destruct, miseducate, teach people to be employed. Not that I have a problem with being employed. But they don’t teach us how to think. They teach us what to think.
In any case, we are programmed to lose, to get out of the situation. So, for the favela to win, it takes several years of work. But every shred of victory ignites a little bit of hope.
That’s what we say: if a minor can understand what we’re talking about, it’s already a giant victory. Because we lose every day, every time.
So if a minor can assimilate, pick up a book through funk lyrics, give up drugs or whatever is bad for him at the moment, he gets better, then the favela won somehow. There he gave a sliver of victory and hope. Collectively, it’s a victory.
g1 – And do you think it has improved among the younger crowd?
Hariel – The favela has more voice. We see the favelados having more space, we see diversity happening strongly. But in the real world, when you go out on the street, everything is the same.
People go hungry, they don’t have a home, they don’t have a school and a “hot” hospital. They don’t have the right to leisure, whoever is at the funk party is shot, bombed.
I don’t know if it’s the beginning of a new phase, an era of improvement. I don’t know what’s going on, but in the real world it’s still the same.
I bought an iPhone, a car and a house. But my friends have the same phone they had before. I have the Playstation 5 but my friends don’t. The world evolves, but in the favela it remains the same, and it is not new.