Years back, I remember reading an article in Musician magazine where they asked a couple dozen musicians what they hoped the music of the ’90′s would sound like (this would’ve been in late ’89 or early ’90). I don’t remember most of the responses, save for one: Vernon Reid said something to the effect that he’d love to see something that’d be a fusion of rap, metal, and world music; I read that, and thought to myself, “Okay, interesting, but what would it sound like?”
It’d take almost ten years, but I’d eventually find out, almost purely by accident. I was working in a chain record store, and one morning before opening had slipped the then-new compilation Red Hot + Rio into the player, proceeding then to go absentmindedly about my morning, half-working, half-listening. At least until “Maracatu Atomico” came thudding through the speakers and stopped me dead in my tracks. For the next fifteen or so minutes, through repeated plays, I couldn’t pay attention to anything else. All of a sudden, what Vernon Reid had said made perfect, crystalline sense. This–in the form of a performance by Chico Science and Nação Zumbi–was it.
So what’s that got to do with O Rappa? Hold on, I’m getting there. Science’s death in 1997 spelled the end of CSNZ, and left me wondering where I might find something with that same spark and originality. A chance conversation with a customer in the aforementioned record shop clued me in to O Rappa. While the sound isn’t apples-to-apples alike (which is a good thing; if they’d been too close, I’d have been more disappointed than thrilled), I think the spirit in which O Rappa operates would’ve done Chico Science proud. That said, now let’s get down to their latest offering, Sete Vezes. Read more