MV Bill is a rap artist from one of the most violent regions of the city of Rio de Janeiro, the favela of Cidade de Deus.
He had rapid growth supported by the idolization he has received from his community as someone who brings a wider awareness of the inhuman conditions of living in these critical areas. Refusing to deliver his real name, MV stands for "Mensageiro da Verdade" (Messenger of Truth), and he has displayed his polemic attitudes, such as performing at the Free Jazz Festival 1999 with a toy gun at his waist. His music video for "Soldado do Morro" (launched at December 2000) -- in which he uses drug traffickers instead of actors as a criticism to the society's hypocrisy -- also yielded passionate debates, a police investigation, and the support of the country's Minister of Justice. He debuted in the recording business with the collection Tiro Inicial in 1993. His first solo album, CDD Mandando Fechado (1999), was already marked by his influential social criticism. MV Bill claims to have a project of establishing trade schools at the Cidade de Deus and is one of the founders of the Partido Popular Poder para a Maioria (PPPomar, Popular Party Power to the Majority), an Afro-Brazilian movement political party. Bill drew a huge audience at his performance in February 2001 at the Festival de Verão de Salvador (Bahia). In July 2001, Bill and the NGO's Grupo Cultural AfroReggae, Viva Rio, and the Mãe organized Desarme seu Filho (Mother, Deprive Your Son of Weapons) campaign. A big show was held at the Complexo do Alemão favela (in the carioca working-class neighborhood of Ramos) with MV Bill, AfroReggae, Gabriel O Pensador, Cidade Negra, the drum section (bateria) of the Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school and the Furacão 2000 funk ball DJs. Bill also makes special appearances in shows and records by other people, such as sambista Dudu Nobre, who identify with the cause of Afro-Brazilian exploited minorities. ~ Alvaro Neder, Rovi