The future of Brazilian hip hop is in good hands: 12-year-old MC Soffia puts political issues in the spotlight
April 4 2016
“Little black girl, exotic doesn’t mean pretty”. The warning comes from a 12-year-old MC Soffia, who has just released her first video clip, “Menina Pretinha” (Portuguese for ‘Little Black Girl’), as she marks her spot in the Brazilian hip hop scene. By rapping about racism and feminism, which are mind-boggling issues even to most grown-ups, she demonstrates that political consciousness is not about age.
Menina Pretinha is an ode to black beauty and girl power. With the urban landscape of Rio de Janeiro as a background, the video clip shows little black kids demonstrating their attitude as Soffia slams lyrics both strong and accessible to the small ones: “I’m black and I’m proud of my color”, goes the rap, clearly meant to promote not only self-acceptance but also a solid empowerment: “Little black girl, you’re not cute. You’re a queen”.
Despite the tradition of being a mainly boy’s club, Brazilian hip hop has been witnessing the rise of a new generation of female MCs, in which MC Soffia is already successfully placing herself and trailblazing as a black girls’ visibility advocator. It is not surprising then, that she’s getting more and more attention all over the internet, newspapers, magazines and TV. Being a young girl in hip hop combined with the fact that all her songs are political makes MC Soffia a unique character, and many girls that don’t feel included in society are now represented by her.
“Barbie is cool, but I prefer Makena”, sings MC Soffia, who is very aware of the importance of representation. The idea for her next song and video clip comes from her own experience of feeling misrepresented by the fashion industry: “In my story, Rapunzel has a Rasta hair. Invent a princess that looks just like you” (an excerpt from “Minha Rapunzel de Dread” – My Rapunzel with Dreads). We’ll be here waiting and hoping that MC Soffia is only a sample of what we expect for the future of Brazilian hip hop.
Assistant: Washington WTO
Production company: Bonga Produções
Music: Menina Pretinha (Denna Hill, James Bantu and Mc Soffia)
Master and mixing: Estudio El Rocha
Cultural support: National Portal of Arts – Funarte