Baile Funk This
By Andrew Belonsky
Brazilian DJ Rodrigo Gorky never imagined he'd be the beat boy for a baile funk trio, Bonde Do Role. Then again, such a trio could never have been imagined. Growing up in Curitiba, Brazil, 'I wanted to be the guy who sits in an office all day long and listens to demos and says, 'Oh, this is good, this is bad,'' he says. To satisfy his sonic sweet tooth, Gorky (in photo, left), who is gay, began dabbling in turntables. Those turntables turned his life around when he was introduced to a fellow DJ, Pedro D'Eyrot (now a band MC), and MC-vocalist Marina Vello.
The trio started out on an electronic album, but according to Gorky, things didn't go as planned: 'It didn't work out. One day, when we were rehearsing, we came up with a baile funk track and Marina loved it, and we recorded another, and that's how we went.'
Translated literally, baile funk becomes 'dance hall funk.' Exuberant, at times aggressive, and most of all, infectious, baile funk's been around for decades, but the members of Bonde Do Role keep it fresh'and naughty'by lacing their lyrics with pajub'. Birthed by Brazilian drag queens, the gay street slang is rife with sexual innuendo, overtures, and straight-up jabs'for example, 'I was at a party / And I saw a whore / I put my tongue into her asshole / And my tongue came out all dirty.'
Once an underground dialect, pajub's seeping into the mainstream, which means Gorky's parents hear him loud and clear. 'My dad once called me and said, 'Why don't you guys do more uplifting lyrics, because everything you say might come back to you.' I was like, 'We talk about sex, so that means I'm going to get sex back!'' A fitting reward for a man whose beats get the blood boiling.