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Funk police: Mayor cracks down on Carnival music

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

A mayor of a Brazilian town has banned Carnival revellers from playing funk or rap music during the traditionally free-wheeling celebrations that kicked off around the country on February 12.

Funk police: Mayor cracks down on Carnival music

Mayor Jose Neto of Sao Lourenco in south-eastern Minas Gerais state told Globo television he was banning songs that incite violence and disrespect authority and wanted to protect more traditional Carnival music, such as samba.

Anyone caught listening to Brazilian funk – a pounding beat often with sexual lyrics that grew out of Rio de Janeiro’s slums – or rap during the Carnival period would have to turn it off or face arrest and up to six months in prison, he reportedly said.

“They are mass gatherings that demand better coordination, control and security that a public festival like Carnival doesn’t allow us to adopt,” Mr Neto told Globo TV.

Brazilian funk music, which is different from the US genre of the same name, has long been frowned upon by police and city authorities in Rio and faced crackdowns because of its association with slum gangs who use parties to sell drugs.

But the music form has increasingly found a mainstream following in Brazil and as far away as Europe.

– Reuters

2010 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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