Líderes da Nova Mensagem (Leaders of the New Message)

“Lideres da Nova Mensagem” were a Portuguese hip-hop band from Almada, from the late eighties and early nineties. Formed by MC Nilton, Pio MC, Beat Box King, Hugo Costa (Cyber G.), Pedro Manaças and DJ Jaws T, they actively participated in the genesis of the rap/hip-hop movement in Portugal, having edited an original album, Kom-tratake , in 1996 and participated with two songs – “O Rap É uma Potência” and “Sê Tu Even” – in the hip-hop collection Rapública, edited by Sony in 1994.

Formed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, like other garage bands from the South Bank of the Tagus, they quickly became a reference in the emerging panorama of Portuguese hip-hop, then embryonic. The sound of the Leaders of the New Message did not go unnoticed by Sony Music, which, in 1994, released the compilation Rapública. This being the first “official” sample of Portuguese hip-hop, this album featured themes from groups such as Zona Dread, Boss AC, New Tribe, Family, Black Company and the Leaders of the New Message themselves.

Of the band’s two themes included in the compilation (“O Rap É uma Potência” and “Sê Tu Even”), the first was planned as a presentation single by Rapública. However, the ease with which the radios adhered to the theme “Nadar”, by Black Company, changed the initial plans of the publisher and catapulted the compilation and Portuguese hip-hop to the top of sales, winning the public’s adherence to this musical style. , which was then taking its first steps in Portugal.

The success of the compilation definitively earned hip-hop’s place in Portuguese music, conditioning the debut of artists such as Boss Ac, Black Company or Da Weasel on their own album. Likewise, the Leaders of the New Message, after playing on the Blitz stage of the Vilar de Mouros Festival in 1996, alongside bands such as Da Weasel or Ramp, were invited to record an album of originals.

Released in 1997 by Vidisco, the Kom-tratake album was produced by DJ NM (Antena 3) and featured musicians such as Nanã Sousa Dias, rappers D. Mars, Double V. and Melo D., in addition to samples of Portuguese guitar or voices of the poet and deputy Manuel Alegre and João Villaret. The designs for the CD single “Kom-tratake” and the booklet for the album are by Pedro Manaças, the bassist for Líderes, who is also an illustrator for sports newspapers.

In its issue of July 18, 2003, in a feature article on the 10 years of hip-hop in Portuguese, Suplemento Y of the newspaper Público referred to the album Kom-tratake by Líderes da Nova Mensagem in this way: “The album arrived at the wrong ‘timming’ for two reasons: (in 1996) the euphoria surrounding hip-hop made in Portugal had passed and the proposal by the Leaders of the New Message, which included samples of Portuguese guitar and poetry recited by Manuel Alegre, I was way ahead.”

Perhaps for this (or another reason) Líderes da Nova Mensagem split up in 1998. DJ Jaws-T continued his participation in Arkham Hi-Fi, together with journalist and producer Rui Miguel Abreu. MC Nilton also collaborated on specific hip-hop projects. Hugo Costa (Cyber G.), changed course, embarking on participation as a musician and lyricist in several renowned projects.

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