Saturday, January 19, 2019

O Rappa Co-Founder Marcelo Yuka Has Left Us

Marcelo Yuka

R.I.P. Marcelo Yuka, one of the founders of the popular Brazilian band O Rappa, which mixed together reggae, rock, hip hop, dub and pop. Yuka (Marcelo Fontes do Nascimento Viana de Santa Ana) died of a stroke at the age of 53 in Rio de Janeiro. He was a drummer and songwriter who was renowned for his socially conscious lyrics and political activism.

In 1993, reggae musician Papa Winnie was going to play in Brazil and need a local backing band. He  picked four people -- Nelson Meirelles, Marcelo Lobato, Alexandre Menezes and Marcelo Yuka -- to perform with him. After Papa Winnie's shows were over, the four decided to stay together and they invited Marcelo Falcão to join them as their vocalist. The group debuted with the eponymous O Rappa (1994). They found success with  Rappa Mundi (1996), produced by legendary rock producer Liminha, and Lado B Lado A (1999), produced by Chico Neves except for two tracks (including the title cut) produced by Bill Laswell.

Yuka became a paraplegic after being shot in a robbery in Rio in 2000. He left O Rappa the following year, because of artistic differences with lead vocalist Marcelo Falcão (Yuka went on to form the group F.U.R.T.O. in 2004). Yuka was O Rappa's most important songwriter while with them and penned many of the group's most memorable songs, including "Todo Camburão tem um Pouco de Navio Negreiro", "Me Deixa", and "Minha Alma (A Paz que Eu Não Quero)" e "Pescador de Ilusões." O Rappa stopped performing in 2018 and has no current plans to return.

Yuka's most recent release was Canções Para Depois Do Ódio in 2017 on Sony Music.

"Minha Alma"


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