Brazilian Mayor Bans Rap Music from Carnival Festivities
A Brazilian town has banned rap music from this year's Carnival festivities. Mayor Jose Neto announced that the town of Sao Lourenco, in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, will not allow the Brazilian style of rap music, favela funk -- also known as funk carioca or baile funk -- to be played during its Carnival celebrations, which began on Friday, Feb. 12.
Neto claimed that the move is an attempt to both curtail the violence and blatant disrespect for authority that funk allegedly incites, and work to ensure that the more conventional Carnival music, like samba, remains a part of the festival tradition.
"They are mass gatherings that demand better coordination, control and security that a public festival like Carnival doesn't allow us to adopt," Neto explained, of his move to ban the music from this year's Carnival.
Favela funk, or funk as it is known in Rio de Janeiro, has been the target of police crackdowns, due to its perceived connection with drug dealers and gang life in the ghettos of Brazil, as well as its frequently incendiary lyrics. The mayor has threatened anyone found playing the music with up to six months in prison, according to reports.