Gabriel o Pensador

Gabriel o Pensador

Gabriel Contino, commonly known by the pseudonym Gabriel o Pensador (Portuguese for "Gabriel, the thinker"), (born March 4, 1974) is one of the best known rappers on the Brazilian hip hop scene. Gabriel shows his intellect and activism through his music. [Behague, Gerard. "Rap, Reggae, Rock, or Samba: The Local and the Global in Brazilian Popular Music (1985-95)." "Latin American Music Review 27", no.1 (Spring/Summer 2006): 79-90.]

Coming from a unique background among Brazilian rappers, Gabriel, the son of a well known journalist in Brazil, hit fame in 1992 with the song "Tô Feliz (Matei o Presidente)" ("I'm happy, I've killed the president") the debut single from his first and eponymous album. This song was written in protest of President Fernando Collor de Mello and his corrupt administration. Interestingly, Gabriel's mother was Collor's press secretary. [ [ Gabriel o Pensador ] ] The same album also yielded other hits, including "Lôrabúrra" ("Stupid Blonde", shortened) and "Retrato de um Playboy" ("Portrait of a Playboy"), bringing hip hop mainstream attention in Brazil by catering to the middle class. Although rapping about everyday life, Gabriel also found time to talk about social injustices with his fourth single, "O Resto do Mundo" ("The Rest of the World"), a more downbeat track about homeless life, with a purposefully depressive melody and flow. Gabriel was "notorious for his biting attacks on some of the major ills of Brazilian society: poverty, racism, violence." [Behague, Gerard. "Rap, Reggae, Rock, or Samba: The Local and the Global in Brazilian Popular Music (1985-95)." "Latin American Music Review 27", no.1 (Spring/Summer 2006): 79-90.]

His following albums were also commercially successful, with a careful blend of socially relevant tracks mixed with airwave-minded pop anthems. His third album, "Quebra-Cabeça", was released in 1997 and sold over one million copies. [ [ Gabriel o Pensador ] ] History-minded, Gabriel was highly influenced by other Brazilian music, including bossa nova, samba and MPB, as well as using hip hop's traditional methods of sampling jazz, funk and disco ("2345meia78", for example, sampled Chic's "Good Times").

In 1994, while on a tour of Portugal, Gabriel's song "Lavagem cerebral" (Brainwashing) was received with much praise. The piece was accepted as "a strong social critique of Brazilian society and of the ideology of the dominating classes." [Behague, Gerard. "Rap, Reggae, Rock, or Samba: The Local and the Global in Brazilian Popular Music (1985-95)." "Latin American Music Review 27", no.1 (Spring/Summer 2006): 79-90.]

Besides his native Brazil, Gabriel, o Pensador is also well known in Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, and has worked with Portuguese musicians like Sérgio Godinho and General D.

The rapper has also released two books: "Diário Noturno" (Brazil and Portugal; poems and short stories), and "Um garoto chamado Rorbeto" (Brazil; fiction poetry for children, awarded as best book in its category by the Jabuti Prize in 2006).


* 1993 "Gabriel o Pensador"
* 1995 "Ainda é só o Começo"
* 1997 "Quebra-Cabeça"
* 1999 "Nádegas a Declarar"
* 2001 "Seja Você Mesmo, Mas Não Seja Sempre o Mesmo"
* 2002 "MTV Ao Vivo"
* 2005 "Cavaleiro Andante"

External links

* [ Gabriel o Pensador official site]
* [ Gabriel's Myspace page]


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