Francisco de Assis França, son of Francisco França and Rita França, was born on March 13, 1966, in the hinterland of Pernambuco.
In the 1970s, his family migrated to Recife in search of better living conditions. They lived for a short time in the city, soon moving to the neighborhood of Rio Doce, in the municipality of Olinda, where Chico Science, alongside his brothers, lived most of his life between the mangues and the urban scenery, a landscape that became a milestone in his artistic trajectory and a permanent source of inspiration.
In the 1980s, in his early teens, Chico worked in odd jobs to make money and be able to attend funk dances. He was passionate about regional art and music, such as frevo, ciranda, maracatu, and other folk styles. His idols were James Brown, Sugar Hill Gang, and other names of the so-called Black Music.
In 1984, he joined the street dance group Legião Hip-Hop, thanks to which he learned a lot about poetry, music, lyrics, and the freedom to think and create upon cruel situations in contemporary society.
During this period, Chico Science matured his revolutionary spirit, which could be seen in his behavior and performances. He sought to unite cultural tradition, language, the people, and their needs. The lyrics of his songs were directed to the reality of a society that cries out for a more ethical and less cruel world. He questioned progress and proposed changes and social justice via a critical language of man/crab/mangue/city, to create a new democratic and fair society.
In the 1990s, he joined the Afro group Lamento Negro, from the neighborhood of Peixinhos, in Recife. They partnered, and their musical genre resulted in a mixture of rhythms of regional maracatu to the sound of drums, atabaques, guitars, frevo, embolada, xaxado, samba-reagae, rap, and rock music. The new group, which was called Chico Science e Nação Zumbi, officially debuted at Espaço Oasis, in Olinda, on June 1, 1991. During the show, the group heavily criticizes the conditions of the population and the city of Recife for having too much marginality, poverty, and many drug-addicted children and adolescents sleeping on sidewalks.
In the first “Abril Pro Rock” Festival in 1994, Chico Science e Nação Zumbi were one of the first groups to launch the mangue movement, with an adrenal rock style, a mixture of maracatu and cybernetics, called “Afrociberdélia”, whose melting point was the behavior and state of mind of the heads of the manguebeat. The definition of all this artistic expression is Africa, as the cultural and genetic roots; cybernetics, as the digital and electronic extension of the body and psychedelia, the exercise and balance of the free and creative mind. This musical style is a landmark in Pernambuco’s society, whose basic principle was the creation of a new genuine Pernambuco-based rock music.
As a popular artist and social critic, Chico Science knew how to play his role well. He planted creative art and nationalist sentiment in defense of citizenship and sociocultural heritage, strongly rooted in the mud of Pernambuco and Brazilian mangues, to show and connect Brazil to the world.
On February 2, 1997, Chico Science died on a car accident, in Complexo de Salgadinho (Recife), near a mangue, a scenery he chose to exalt in his songs, within the social context and cultural values of Pernambuco’s society.
Chico Science will be remembered not only as a singer and composer who opened new paths to a new style of pop music, Pernambuco rock, which revolutionized aesthetics without losing its roots, but as an artist who loved the art and people of the mangue of Pernambuco and Brazil.
Tô enfiado na lama/
é um bairro sujo/onde os urubus têm casas/
e eu não tenho asas [...]
ando por entre os becos/andando em coletivos/
ninguém foge ao cheiro sujo/
da lama da manguetown [...]
[I’m stuck in the mud/
it’s a dirty neighboorhood/where the vultures have a home/
And I have no wings [...]
I walk through the alleys/walking in collectives/
no one escapes the dirty smell/
of manguetown’s mud [...]
Recife, September 3, 2003.
CHICO Science [Foto neste texto]. Disponível em: . Acesso em: <https://loirexxxperience.wordpress.com/>. Acesso em: 2 mar. 2009.
MOISÉS NETO. Chico Science: a rapsódia afrociberdélica. Recife: Comunicarte, 2000. 194 p.
TELES, José. Do frevo ao manguebeat. São Paulo: Ed. 34, 2000. 356 p.
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MACHADO, Regina Coeli Vieira. Chico Science. In: Pesquisa Escolar. Recife: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, 2003. Available at:https://pesquisaescolar.fundaj.gov.br/en/artigo/chico-science/. Access on: month day year. (Ex.: Aug. 6, 2020.)