Cidade Negra

Cidade Negra

 Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, BRA

Cidade Negra (Portuguese: Black City) is a Brazilian reggae band formed in 1986 in Rio de Janeiro. Their style is influenced by soul and rock music. Common themes of Cidade Negra songs include love and social issues.



The place was the Baixada Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro), famous for its poverty and increasing violence, there emerged the group “Cidade Negra” (Black City). It was in that place, where survival is the main rule, that Da Gama, Bino Farias, Lazão and Ras Bernardo sought inspiration to speak out on behalf of a people with no chance of claims.

It was all a matter of faith, for Bino's father played guitar and his mother sang in a choir of a local church. Bino was also a regular at the place and it was there that he met Da Gama and Lazão, and they formed the New Time, with a simple-minded mission: to play a festival of the church. In 1983 with the entry of Bernardo arose Lumiar (first name of the band), the youth were fueled by the passion shared by the Jamaican rhythm, Bob Marley, in particular, Brazilian music such as Tim Maia and the funk and soul of the 1970s, besides great rock classics like Led Zeppelin. This was the junction of styles, which would leave a unique and unmistakable sound of the Cidade Negra.

The first concert was held in 1986 at the Arcadia Theatre, in the Baixada, as part of a musical project named "Cultural Tuesdays." The name change occurred because of the existence of another band with the same name Lumiar, since then the band was renamed Cidade Negra, testing occurred at the home of Da Gama, with borrowed instruments. A BBC documentary about the culture of London in the Baixada, emphasizing the band, served as an incentive for the group, which was then in 1990, Sony Music, CBS still, decided to bet on them.

Soon after in 1991 with Nelson Meirelles on the table of production, came his first album, “Lute Para Viver” (Fight To Live), mature, and with politicized lyrics about life and his teachings. His stood out the hit "Falar a Verdade” (Speak the Truth), a shot that beset all radio stations in Brazil at the time and date is requested at concerts. The album also included the participation of more than special devoted Jimmy Cliff's song "Mensagem” (Message).

Reggae Sunsplash Festival

In the following year the group crossed borders, going to play at Reggae Sunsplash Festival in Montego Bay, Jamaica, becoming the first Latin American artists to participate. In return, the Cidade Negra returned to the studios. In 1992 came the “Negro no Poder” (Black Power), even more cumbersome and politicized, and perhaps therefore less accepted by the media. That was the last album of Bernard with the band, because it had left to go solo.

Toni Garrido

The year 1994 was a transition year for the group. Toni Garrido former lead singer of the band Bel (a band of samba, funk and soul) replaced Ras Bernardo on vocals and the group soon showed that it came from, printing your touch on new compositions. Together with the experienced Liminha, now in production, the group's sound became more diverse, more pop, but without losing the roots of reggae and social issues.
Sobre Todas as Forças (All About Forces )

The third album: “Sobre Todas as Forças” (All About Forces), crowned the band, dedicating it to success with hits such as "A Sombra da Maldade” (The Shadow of Evil) and "Pensamento” (Thought). The album fell into the graces of the public, even those who had never given the ball to the Jamaican rhythm. This time the album was attended by Shabba Ranks in the song "Downtown." But even the great success of this album was the romantic "Onde Você Mora?” (Where You Live?), Written by Nando Reis and Marisa Monte. The album also featured the participation of Gabriel o Pensador.

Solidification of Success

Launched in 1996, the fourth album “O Erê” (The Ere) solidified the band's success. Once again produced by Liminha, the album features contributions by Patra on "Realidade Virtual” (Virtual Reality) and the group Inner Circle's song "Free". "Firmamento” (Firmament) along with the title track "O Erê" were major hits on the album.

Later in 1998 came the fifth album “Quanto Mais Curtido Mlehor” (How Much More Fun Better), again produced by Liminha, charting in the charts with another hit, the song "A Estrada” (The Road). The album had the participation of Lulu Santos in the song "Sábado à Noite” (Saturday Night) and also the African singer Angelique Kidjo.

Launched in 1999, the double album “Hits & Dubs” showed how the band is recognized inside and outside the country. While Hits contains a collection of the biggest hits of the band since its inception, the Dubs it's versions of the band's songs remixed by some of the biggest names in reggae and dub like Lee 'Scratch' Perry and Mad Professor Steel Pulse ; producers and friends of the band as Nelson Meirelles, Liminha Paul and Ralph.

The following year, in 2000, came seventh album, “Enquanto o Mundo Gira” (As the World Turns), perhaps one that most have moved away from reggae, adhering to the pop. This album stand out the songs "A Flecha e o Vulcão” (The Arrow and the Volcano), "Podes Crer” (Can Believe) and "


Studio albums

* 1991 Lute Para Viver (Fight To Live)
* 1992 Negro no Poder (in the Black Power)
* 1994 Sobre Todas as Forças (All About Forces)
* 1996 O Erê (The Ere)
* 1998 Quanto Mais Curtido Melhor (The shorter the better)
* 2000 Enquanto o Mundo Gira (As the World Turns)
* 2005 Perto de Deus (Close to God)
* 2010 Que Assim Seja (What Just Be)


* 1999 Hits & Dubs (Hits & Dubs)
* 2008 Cidade Negra: Perfil (Profile)

Live albums

* 2002 Acústico MTV (MTV Unplugged)
* 2006 Direto - Ao Vivo (Direct – Live)
* 2007 Diversão - Ao Vivo (Fun – Live)


* 2002 Acústico MTV (MTV Unplugged)
* 2006 Direto - Ao Vivo (Direct – Live)
* 2007 Diversão - Ao Vivo (Fun – Live)