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Biography

  • Born

    4 March 1974 (age 44)

  • Born In

    Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Gabriel Contino, better known as Gabriel o Pensador (Gabriel the Thinker) (born March 4, 1974) is one of the best known rappers on the Brazilian hip hop scene. 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. 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.

His following albums were also commercially successful, with a careful blend of socially relevant tracks mixed with airwave-minded pop anthems. 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").

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

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