In the early hours of Sunday 1st December 2019, militarised police broke up a Brazilian funk street party called Baile da D27 in the São Paulo favela of Paraisópolis. The party-goers were kettled into narrow alleys and, while trapped, the police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd, which led to a trampling amidst the chaos. Nine people were killed. Gustavo Cruz Xavier was the youngest to die. He was just 14. According to witnesses, the police occupied all possible exits from the street, making it distinct to escape and lead ing to the panic. Many of those who managed to escape were chased down by the police. (The police claim they were chasing armed drug traffickers, but there is little evidence to support this currently.) It was another chapter in the long process of criminalising funk music in Brazil.
Despite achieving worldwide success with singers like Anitta and Ludmilla, funk continues to be heavily policed in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and its artists and producers have been constant victims of lawsuits. criminal investigations and even imprisonment.
Full article at DJ Mag’s October print edition. Date of publication (online): 22/09/2020; Date of publication (print): October, 2020.