Looking for some of them on youtube, the prohibited tunes do seem a bit pro-gansta, to say the least – guns in the air, lyrics about the Comando Vermelho (Red Command, who run a lot of the gangs), etc.
Here is one about the ‘Bullet Train’ which goes past Complexo do Alemao, the favela which was taken over by the army and police last month. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOvYcSvJW1I&feature;=related
Here’s another one, about the ‘grande familia’ of Comando Vermelho.
MC Dido, one of those arrested, said he didn’t have much choice, and it’s a powerful argument – if you live somewhere which is run by drug gangs, and the boss asks you to write a song about how great he is, who is going to refuse? Among the crimes he and his friends were accused of was inciting crime, due to songs where they appeared to encourage the setting fire of cars and robbing people that precipitated those troubles last month.
The music isn’t exactly subtle, neither are the videos with their photos of gang members, guns and people shooting each other. It still seems hard to believe that people can be imprisoned just for making music here. It will be interesting to see what happens at the trial. A protest funk party was already held last night, according to O Dia today.