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Everything you need to know about “Funk Generation: A Favela Love Story” by Anitta after her award and performance at the VMA’s.

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TX State chapter.

Anitta is the first Brazilian to win at the VMAs. 

On September 12, the 2023 VMAs took place and one of the highlights of the night was the superstar Anitta’s performance. The Brazilian singer won the famous astronaut statuette for “Best Latin Video” with her new single “Funk Rave”. In addition to winning the award, she performed her new song “Back for More” with the K-pop group TOMORROW X TOGETHER, which debuted on September 16 garnering 14 million views on YouTube. She also performed two songs from her new EP “Used to Be” and of course, “Funk Rave”.

This EP was Anitta’s first project with her new record company Universal Republic Records after ending her partnership, in a not very friendly way, with Warner Music. All of the songs on Funk Generation: A Favela Love Story are written by Anitta and it contains the genres of Funk and Pop. Additionally, the album includes songs Anitta released at the beginning of her career like “Bang!” and “Na Batida”. “Funk Rave” was Anitta’s lead single and premiered a few days before the EP on June 22. Two more singles were then released on August 17 to complete the EP: “Casi Casi” and “Used to Be”.

“Funk Rave”, “Casi Casi” and “Used to Be” have unique music videos recorded in a favela in the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro and are directed by Brazilian directors João Wainer and Ricardo Souza. The three videos are closely related, as if we were seeing a timeline of Anitta’s history. “Casi Casi” starts with Anitta being the owner of a brothel in the favela and how she relates to all the characters. “Used to Be” shows her new, calmer personality when it comes to love, and “Funk Rave” shows what an “ideal” weekend would be like in the favela with barbecue, pagode and lots of music. Every script, in general, follows the themes of fun, humor and sex. Although they all relate to each other and have lots of dancing scenes, each one has a different perspective based on her own experiences.  This is the album’s cover.

Response to Criticism

Anitta has responded to criticism that she has been facing after releasing the EP. She commented in the Brazilian press CAPRICHO for a few magazines, that in each place in the world, the release of her EP faces a different challenge. When outside of Brazil, she mentioned the difficulty of introducing a new musical genre to the world, “Funk ” because it is not yet popular in other countries. She also mentioned that in Brazil, it is difficult to get people used to listening to Brazilian “Funk” in languages different than Portuguese, such as Spanish and English. Both of these are the predominant languages present in the EP’s songs. Also, Brazilians on social media, mainly on X, (previously Twitter), questioned the way in which the “Favela” was represented in the EP because all of its elements were limited to sexual and loving experiences. Social media users mentioned the danger of stereotyping a big part of Brazilian culture to the world. 

From Brazil to VMAs stage   

Anitta is the first Brazilian to win a VMA in history, so it is impossible to say that her impact in bringing the genre from the periphery to the world was unsuccessful . Born in Honório Gurgel in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian began her career with the funk producer “Furacão 2000” in 2010. Inspired by international pop artists, such as Beyoncé and Mariah Carey, at the beginning of her career she mixed the genres of Funk and Pop – just like she does now! One of her first hits was “Meiga e Abusada” which led to her signing with Warner Music in 2013. 

After starting to work with Warner, Anitta began to grow exponentially in Brazil with the hit “Show das Poderosas”, which has around 172 million views on YouTube, and her first album Ritmo Perfeito. As she was gaining success with the Brazilian audience, Anitta began to expand her career outside of Brazil in 2017 with international features such as Iggy Azalea and Major Lazer. Additionally, she did an interview on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. 

She also started releasing songs in English and Spanish like “Paradinha” and “Downtown” which made her gain an audience in other countries, with most of them from Latin America. In 2022, Anitta released the biggest hit of her career, “Envolver” that secured a nomination at the Grammys for “Best New Artist” and her first VMA to win with the category “Best Latin Video”. As soon as “Envolver” was released, she reached first place on Spotify Global.  The song allowed Anitta to show off some of her versatility in Funk, Pop and Reggaeton to the world. 

Julia Rabelo

TX State '26

Julia Rabelo is a Brazilian who currently lives in the United States. She is a Journalism student at Texas State University and has always been passionate about writing. Her passion for pop culture began at the age of 8 after going to the cinema for the first time to watch "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse". Since then, her passions have been cinema - especially for romcoms films - books, music and soccer!