Hip Hop, Afro-Brazilian
“unique, joyful and highly danceable music – Brighton Noise”
“OQuadro from Brazil — three rappers fronting a rock band, with tunes that recalled the street party spirit of early hip-hop…It was artists such as OQuadro, singular and curious, who made the Great Escape special – Will Hodgkinson, The Times”
Tipped as one of the hottest acts in Brazil right now, OQuadro deliver fired-up hip hop with their own unique Bahian kick.
OQuadro do old-school, with Brazilian rules. That’s high-velocity conscious rap, candomblé drums and dub, ijexá and afrobeat flavours – explosive!
Following ground-breaking shows at The Great Escape, London’s Roundhouse and Notting Hill Arts Club in May 2013
OQuadro hail from the coastal town of Ilheus in Bahia, North-East Brazil. They’re a 7- piece hip-hop crew who got together as teenagers 15 years ago and created their own route through, by any means necessary. With no access to digital equipment (in samba’s heartland, MPCs weren’t easy to lay your hands on), OQuadro’s line-up looks more like a rock band fronted by three MCs. One of them, Professor Jef (he’s also a Philosophy teacher), explains:
“We are hip-hop, our thinking is hip-hop. But when we started out we didn’t have samplers or decks…so we transposed the sound of Afrika Bambaataa, Run DMC or Beastie Boys onto bass, guitar, drumkit and percussion. We don’t have an established hip-hop market in Bahia so when we play live we can end up playing alongside death metal bands, punk or reggae bands…this kind of influences us. We like Bad Brains, Massive Attack, Sepultura, Anti-Pop Consortium, Lee Perry, Geronimo, Black Uhuru…all that falls into the frame we call OQuadro. We allow ourselves not to be defined. What hip-hop gives us is the framework for our music and it’s also the way we use to construct our poetry.” Always conscious, always blazing, that’s OQuadro.
OQuadro have huge respect with hip hop fans across Brazil, their self-titled album, produced by Brazilian don Buguinha Dub was released in 2012. They also picked up a wave of new followers on their recent visit to the UK where they performed with bashment ravers The Heatwave, dancehall MC Lady Chann and reggae singer Natty on the Bass Culture Clash: Salvador vs London tour.