A Filial $1.99

A Filial $1.99
This is the best hip-hop disc I've ever heard come out of Brazil. This Rio group feature a regular four-man crew augmented by Chicago commuter Ben Lamar, whose post-neo-soul Juba Dance project set blogs alight last year. It goes without saying that the language barrier will put off the majority of hip-hop fans, but hopefully true heads will listen more closely to the outstanding production and if nothing else, vibe off the smooth Portuguese wordplay. $1.99 references the '70s (Tropicália and Black Rio abstractions abound), '80s (Fat Boys' "All You Can Eat" is referenced in clever food politics joint "Balaio One Two") and '90s (in its overall backpacker sensibility). Just as the sound starts to come together three songs into the disc, Lamar pops up rapping in English and it's quite a pleasant shock to the ears. But it's the music that impresses most, with myriad live contributions from percussion and horns adding great emotional depth to the sound. (Verge)