By Michael DeLeo, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazilian band O Rappa is playing two concerts at the Marina da Glória in Rio on Friday and Saturday, October 21st and 22nd, for a dedicated fan-base of Cariocas and foreigners. The band was initially slated to play only one day but high demand added another night of reggae, rock, hip-hop, funk and samba sounds.
O Rappa has their own sound, blending Caribbean rhythms with American influences, all without losing their Brazilian roots. The band was formed in 1993 by band member Papa Winnie from St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean, who sought out four musicians upon his arrival in Brazil.
One year later they released their first self-titled album that gained some local Carioca notoriety. Fast-forward fifteen years later and O Rappa has 200,000 friends on Facebook and over 13,000 stating they will attend the Marina da Glória show on Facebook alone.
Robin Catlren, an expatriate from Germany, says, “I wasn’t going to the show but since I found out everyone I know is attending, I will try to find a ticket for Saturday and see what O Rappa is all about.”
O Rappa’s concerts are conducted in a festival-like manner with a positive social message. The daytime entertainment will consist of local reggae, hip-hop and samba bands. DJs will provide continuing beats in between sets, with O Rappa hitting the main stage later in the evening.
The Brazilian band has been recognized on MTV Brasil’s Video Music Awards for their song “Minha Alma.” This notoriety gives them the proper platform for their controversial lyrics and message.
O Rappa’s songs mostly voice their strong opinions about social problems and contain sharp protests, as they are strong supporters of numerous social projects within Brazil.
Julia Almeida, a local Brazilian, says, “O Rappa sets the mood with a very positive vibe and gets the crowd jumping on their behalf. O Rappa!”
O Rappa’s rise to success hasn’t come without tragedy, though. In November 2000, drummer Marcelo Yuka was shot during a robbery. In an attempt to avoid the assault, he slammed his car against the bandits. Unfortunately, the incident left him a paraplegic and he eventually had to be replaced by current drummer Marcelo Lobato.
O Rappa’s concert will bring people of all walks of life together with the intent of providing a positive change in society. It is a breath of fresh air in today’s music scene to see a band make such strong statements for the betterment of their people.
Tickets are still for sale between R$72 to R$108 for Friday night’s show, but are selling fast, so purchase promptly and show love for a grassroots band that has finally made it back home. Tickets can be purchased online here.