‘Funk Generation’: Anitta Wants to Make You Come (To Brazil)

The Brazilian bombshell course-corrects and finds her way back home.

“I’m gon’ make you lose your breath…”

Thanks to their famously passionate pleas to stars worldwide to visit, Brazil has a reputation – certainly to the chronically online, at least – for being home to the most impassioned fans on the planet.

Pop stars have made songs about it. There are memes aplenty. The Queen of Pop herself, Madonna, is there right now, about to make history with a free concert on Copacabana Beach this week that should break the record for the most-attended female solo concert ever. But who’s bringing Brazil…to us?

By now, Anitta has established herself as the country’s most well-known global export.

After rising to stardom in her home country in the early ’10s with hits like “Show das Poderosa,” “Não Para,” “Ritmo Perfeito” and “Bang,” she set her sights on the rest of the world.

Back in 2018, a year after she began busting through international barriers with Pabllo Vittar and Major Lazer on their massive “Sua Cara,” I spoke with her for Paper as the ambitious businesswoman juggled filming La Voz Mexico, debuting in the Spanish-language market with “Paradinha,” and setting her sights on breaking into the English-language market next, sounding fiercely determined to conquer even more territories.

“That’s the part that I think is the most difficult,” she told me at the time, “to keep doing three different markets, but being only one person.”

Regardless, Anitta busted her bunda and really went for it, releasing dozens of singles and collaborations over the next five years, as well as two trilingual records, Kisses in 2019 and Versions of Me in 2022.

She shape-shifted dramatically with each release – a true #vers queen – dabbling in pop, reggaeton, EDM, trap, hip-hop and, of course, baile funk, all while collaborating with dozens of hit-makers and icons along the way: Madonna, J Balvin, Maluma, Rauw Alejandro, Cardi B, the Black Eyed Peas, Steve Aoki – the list goes on and on and on.

Accordingly, the past few years have been a bit of a blur in Anitta’s career. At times, it felt like she was throwing anything at the speakers to see what sticks to middling results. The artist, who has always been refreshingly candid – this is the same artist who put all of her pre- and post-plastic surgery faces on display on an album cover, after all – admitted she got lost in obsessing over the charts and sales game. It was taking a toll, to the point of nearly exiting the industry.

“I didn’t feel happy,” she admitted to Variety recently. “I didn’t have the energy anymore. I was looking at the sales numbers too much, reading what the internet and critics had to say. And after having thought so much about what life could look like if I quit, or if I died … my priorities shifted.”

It turns out, she still had some fight in her: Anitta wound up publicly feuding with her label Warner, questioning their belief in her as an artist and accusing them of not wanting to release her hit “Envolver” without a feature. The parties eventually settled, and she quickly inked a deal with Republic Records while simultaneously switching up her management, hiring former Rosalía manager, Rebeca León.

Then came the first real course-correction: 2023’s Funk Generation: a Favela Love Story, which included the massive “Funk Rave,” “Casi Casi” and retired ho anthem “Used to Be.” It was the first sign of what was to come, and a step back in the right direction.

“For a long time, the numbers have decided whether I won or failed, and that will push you to do something unoriginal,” she told Variety. “I want to be very clear: That doesn’t mean I don’t love my old songs. With Versions of Me, I was trying a little bit of everything to try to solidify myself in the mainstream, but I don’t care what the fuck is gonna happen with this next album. I love the adrenaline of not knowing whether people are going to like it.”

With Funk Generation (out on April 26), Anitta has found her way back home.

The album is a hot and horny multilingual exploration of the genre she grew up on, largely bolstered by fellow Brazilian talent – including Márcio Arantes, Botlok, Brabo, DJ GBR, DJ Gabriel do Borel, Rafael Fadul, Dennis, Pedro Sampaio and Tropkillaz – and well-established hit-makers providing a pop gloss across the horns and hammering bass beats, including StarGate and Jason Evigan. And of course, there’s Diplo, who’s been infusing funk into his productions for well over two decades, from M.I.A.‘s “Bucky Done Gun” onward.

Funk Generation embodies every nuance of this 100% Brazilian musical genre that has shaped my journey as both a person and an artist,” she explained of the new album in an official release.

“Funk is ingrained in the culture of those who live in Brazilian favelas, where I come from, and has often been unfairly judged as lacking artistic value, even associated with organized crime. It reflects the classism and racism that haunt our society. I’m part of a generation that embraced the rhythm, emerged from the favelas, and conquered Brazil. My new project is very special because it signifies my intention to create an international funk album, something I’ve always dreamed of. It’s fulfilling to see that funk is now a source of inspiration and art in the global music scene—a genre with value, awards, and admiration. With an infectious rhythm, whether strong or melodic, the songs on my album draw from many influences, from Funk Carioca to pop, and electronic music. I made sure to collaborate with renowned Brazilian funk producers. Together, we’ve crafted something you can enjoy, dance to, and sing along with.”

There’s little to no breathing room on the beats-heavy, all-bangers record – in fact, she quite literally warns us within the first 30 seconds: “Ride, make ’em sweat, I’m gon’ make you lose your breath!” she gruffly declares on the ultra-addictive opener. And with each song clocking in at just around the 2-minute mark, the mile-a-minute 15-track record feels more like a DJ set dedicated to introducing the genre to a global audience.

The album’s most shining moments are also the sluttiest: Anitta dishes out endless horny moans while riding the ass-clapping beats and horny horns, taunting and teasing (“this lil’ pussy got grip” she warns on the Miami bass-infused “Grip”), soaking the sheets (“Sabana”) and fucking and sucking her way through lyrics that sound pulled from PornHub auto-generated captions.

I know you wanna fuck me, fuck me, fuck me…I wanna, you wanna, fuck me hard, hard, hard, hard” she declares on the dizzyingly delightful banger that is “Savage Funk,” in which she says “fuck” an astonishing 58 times.

Despite being open about engaging in frequent casual sex at one point in her life, Anitta’s since said that Funk Generation is not exactly coming from an autobiographical place at this point.

“Brazilian funk is very, very sexual and very explicit, but those lyrics don’t reflect what I’m living personally now. It’s more an exploration of my love for the beats, the parties, and how it all makes me feel. A lot of the producers on this album are people who came from the ghetto, the slums, the favelas. They live and breathe Brazilian funk — the kind of funk that has crazy lyrics, that nasty shit,” she told Variety.

While collaborations overwhelmed her last few full-length releases, she largely commands these songs solo – further evidence of a belief in the superstar at the center of the project. Still, there are some cool collaborations throughout: she proves herself to be the best bien puta there is on “Double Team” with Brray and Bad Gyal, tag-teaming Pedro Sampaio and Dennis with her latest Brazilian Top 20 hit “Joga Pra Lua,” and unexpectedly invites Sam Smith into her world with “Ahi,” as they share in their mutual desires to get piped down. (“I’m a big girl, say what you want / I can make love, or we can just fuck,” she kindly offers.) And with boss bitch anthems like “Aceita,” she’s capable of hyping herself up all on her own.

Anitta’s already proven herself capable of dominating globally, and hearing her bust it down in Portuguese, Spanish and English (which has improved drastically in just a few years) on this album, there’s no doubt that she will continue to do so.

But Funk Generation is a needed reminder of who Anitta is, and why she even blew up in Brazil in the first place. It transports me right back to the first time I really fell in love with Anitta, watching her perform “Movimento da Sanfoninha” during her Prêmio Multishow 2016 greatest hits medley. ‘Cês pensaram que eu não ia rebolar minha bunda hoje, né?

A little focus goes a long way, and the mission statement of Funk Generation is loud and clear: Anitta’s going to teach you how to funk.

Check out the MuuTunes Spotify playlist. You can also subscribe on Apple Music.

Photo credit: Republic Records

Say Lou Lou: On ‘Dust,’ Breakups & Swedish Melancholy (Interview)

Say Lou Lou: On ‘Dust,’ Breakups & Swedish Melancholy (Interview)

The Swedish-Aussie twin sister act discuss their dreamy new project

Madonna’s Historic Rio Show Is Why She’s the Queen of Pop

Madonna’s Historic Rio Show Is Why She’s the Queen of Pop

One last 'Celebration Tour' show cements her status as the Queen of Pop forever

You May Also Like