Marcelo D2 at the Fillmore Miami Beach July 22

They say music is the universal language. And it's a damn good thing. Because otherwise, you might miss out on Brazilian rapper Marcelo D2. Unless, of course, you speak Portuguese. Sure, Miami's Brazilian population is not inconsiderable. This town, after all, boasts a lot of peeps who falar português. But Marcelo D2's delivery and throwback vibe tinged with modern electro underpinnings really extend beyond Brasileiro stuff.

Marcelo Maldonado Peixoto was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1967. He had already been a member of hip-hop group Planet Hemp by 1998 when he launched his solo career at the age of 21 with the release of Eu Tiro e Onda (A Shot and a Wave), which earned instant street cred in São Paulo. He parlayed that into an increasingly successful career as one of Brazil's hip-hop voices, evidenced by his 2003 followup, A Procura da Batida Perfeita (Looking for the Perfect Beat), an Acústico MTV performance, and last year's Canta Bezerra da Silva.

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Christopher Lopez