Brazil (according to Samba-rap)

Article published on April 8, 2009
Article published on April 8, 2009
The recurrent case study for International Business and Development Studies scholars - Brazil - is analysed differently by the country’s Samba-rap musicians.
The well performing clusters, such as the footwear cluster of Sinos Valley, was analysed by Humphrey and Schmitz (2002) regarding its functional upgrading triggered by US’ demand and value chain governance on one hand and by China’s competition on the other hand. The brazilian rapper De Leve describes - amid the well blended sound of drums, reco-reco, pandeiro and cavaco - “Trabalho em multinacional, escravidão high-tech” (I work for a multinational, high-tech slavery).

Brazil is, with no doubts, an interesting case study. Few arguments convince: a large economy 6 times bigger than the one of its former european colonizer, Portugal, and as great as that of the entire Scandinavian region; its market is wide - more than 170 million people - and its working force counts with more than 100 million souls; furthermore, despite being a funny-speaking nation (Portuguese) for the rest of Latin America, Brazil is the continent’s most influential nation (you can watch a series of video reports exploring the relations between Brazil and each one of its neighbours: BBC Brasil - Brazil in the eyes of Latin America - unfortunately only in Portuguese). Its growth rate allows it to score greatly on the fight against poverty, but “the problem is not the economy” as Marcelo D2 clarifies with a rhyme, “the problem is the corruption”.

The topic is similar for rappers all over the world. They align the timbre of the socio-economic troubles of their own country or city, but Brazilians do it specially well; my guess: the dazing amount of such problems, afecting in general the whole Latin America, provides limitless inspiration that is skilfully blended with the joyful nature of their music, that only Brazilians can do. Seu Jorge, Marcelo D2, De Leve (Voltair) and many others are not published in the International Business academic periodicals but they reach many millions with argumentation that is as empirical as it can be.