Anyone who knows Rap Carioca is certainly familiar with names like Philip Ret, Marcelo D2 and BK. These are just some of the representatives of the genre and, in addition to the state, they all share a relationship with the neighborhood of Catete, which is the topic of the new mini-documentary TTK Tribute.
Presented by Amazon Music, the short premieres this Tuesday (24) and shows the growth of the genre in this neighborhood, with the creative direction of Ret and the participation not only of D2 and BK but also of other names like sain. When talking about the importance of this work exclusively to TMDQA!, Ret commented:
The idea of this project was to rescue: ‘how can I rescue my image?’. Then I went back to the place where I was born, which is on the rise of the [morro] Santo Amaro. We put black and white because it’s a rescue, we put scratch, which is a fundamental of Hip Hop. Brass has a foundation in Jazz, which also communicates a lot with Rap improvisation.
Then I started putting all the more root elements. So I thought about who I could call and came BK, Sain, Mãolee. It had to be without autotune and all these choices made the song a lot less commercial, no doubt about it. Every element of that list was all a choice.
For the musician, the role of creative director was “relatively easy” to fulfill since “the characters involved are very practical and made everything happen in a very spontaneous way”. He explains that the minidocumentary features three generations — “Marceo D2, mine and BK” — and guarantees that, even if the title of the work speaks specifically of TTK, “we’re talking about everything” that involves Rap .
Philip Ret and the TTK Tribute
But what is TTK? Well, literally speaking, it’s an abbreviation as opposed to Catete — KTT. But the one who really knows how to explain this properly is Ret himself, who gave a lesson on the history of the term and its sociocultural importance:
The TTK language was a language among the most marginalized people. The Republic was here at the time, here [o Palácio do Catete] it was the President’s Palace. These more marginalized people talked backwards to have greater complicity. It is a language that was born in an alternative way and passed from generation to generation. It is also associated with the graffiti crowd.
The first time someone called me Ret was on the circuit of the crowd that painted the wall. When you’re a pre-teen and you don’t have a formed identity yet and someone gives you an identity — or that graffiti gives you an identity — you hold onto it and say, ‘That’s me.’
And that’s kind of it, the language of graffiti, the skateboard guys. I didn’t hang out with the skateboard guys much, but they also had this alternative culture, even though skateboarding is now an Olympic sport. I believe that, over time, all these elements will be seen in a better way. The graffiti becomes graffiti, the Rap is gaining more status and this is a cool trend. And TTK is this, this complicity. He was born for the purpose of complicity among the marginalized.
Likewise, in the film itself, D2 explains that “the neighborhood synthesizes urban culture very well, because it’s close to the beach, in an urban place, where people felt very excluded”. He also says that “Catete will be [sua] area forever, is a place that is part of the history of [sua] life”.
And now you can know all this history — from D2 and so many others — through the documentary, available in full on YouTube below or on Amazon Music by clicking here. Enjoy and also listen to the new music made for the soundtrack!