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Even without the bombshell Tô Feliz Matei o Presidente (I’m Happy I killed the President), Gabriel’s first release has made the strongest impact on Brazilian rap in the 90s thus far. Lôraburra (Dumb Blond), Retrato de um Playboy (Portrait of a Playboy), 175 Nada Especial (175 Nothing Special) were greeted as the best manifestations of intelligence from the almost invisible Brazilian rap scene. In Tô Feliz Matei o Presidente, Gabriel assassinates Fernando Collor, the president for whom his mother, Belisa Ribeiro, worked as a journalist.
The situation was explosive. While mother was working for the president, son was screaming out his hatred for Collor’s regime. When Matei o Presidente was released, many journalists envied Gabriel’s mother and tried to explore her position on the subject, as myriad rumors were spreading about her.
Gabriel is not ashamed that his mother worked for Collor. He doesn’t feel that there was any crime in that. In fact, a short time before Matei o Presidente started being aired on the radio his mother fought publicly with Collor. She later left Brazil to live in the United States but has since returned to Brazil and is now living with Gabriel. Today the son of the famous journalist is more famous than his mother.
Gabriel has been writing since he was 16 years old. He started rapping when he was 17 or 18, at the time he recorded the music Tô Feliz, Matei o Presidente with a drum machine in eight channels. He took the finished tape to the RPC FM station in Rio. They liked it and asked to have exclusive access to the tape. The station played it for five days before it was censored. Gabriel started being interviewed and was offered contracts with two independent labels which he refused.
Tô Feliz was his biggest step in coming out from the unknown. He was very much an amateur at that time and had performed his first shows without contracts but continued to experiment until early 1993 when Sony signed him. In September Sony launched his first disc. Gabriel had no idea what was going to happen, but luckily the worst part was by then already over. Personalized Palm Readings Doormat
Gabriel’s themes speak about violence, the church, and men who beat their wives and children. His work criticizes behavioral concepts that have become accepted patterns of adult behavior. For example, the playboy sons of upper middle- class Brazilian families who depend on their parents’ money, probe for sex, and make no attempt to achieve anything on their own; and the “dumb blondes” attractive men or women who get through life simply by banking their appearance but who refuse to think critically about their behavior. Much of his work expresses ideas that people with integrity accept the axioms. Those who don’t, many times are subconsciously attached to following these very patterns.