PROMINENT EARLY PIONEER OF THE RAPSO MOVEMENT IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO IS DEAD AT 67

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PROMINENT EARLY PIONEER OF THE RAPSO MOVEMENT IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO IS DEAD AT 67

Howard Hughes

Brother Resistance Dies!

TRINIDAD and Tobago and the rest of the calypso and Rapso-loving world is waking up this morning to the sad news that another of its icons, Lutalo Makossa Masimba, better known as Brother Resistance, has died.

The death of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation’s president was confirmed in a Facebook post on the organisation’s official page, where many in the fraternity expressed their sadness.

He was ailing for some time. He died today (7/14/21) in the early hours of the morning at the West Shore Hospital in T&T. However, there were no details of the cause or time of his death.

It appears that his sickness suddenly took for the worst within the last recent days as he attended a cultural meeting just some days ago on Thursday (7/8/21) at the National Carnival Commission Head Quarters (NCC) with Winston ‘Gypsy’ Peters being in attendance.

According to Winston ‘Gypsy’ Peters “There were no apparent evidence of Bro Resistance being sick”.

Also, this meeting was confirmed by Ann Marie “Twiggy” Parks-Kojo, who knew of his attendance at the said NCC meeting. In recent times she too, was genuinely concerned about his health appearance, but was not clear about what he was suffering from and brought her observations to his brother (Neal).

Neal, dearly loved his big brother and often showed care and general interest in his well-being. Neal like his big brother also attended the same Alma Mata (QRC).  

Messages about it began circulating on social media platforms shortly after midnight, as well as tributes from fellow musicians and others.

The FB post described Masimba – born Roy Lewis in East Dry River, Port of Spain, in 1954. Brother Resistance together with Brother Shortman, became the lead singers of the Network Riddim Band, a Trinidadian ensemble, in 1979.

They developed a hybrid of soca and rap that they called “Rapso”, a genre for which they credited Lancelot Layne as originator. – as being well known for pioneering the Rapso music movement in the 1970s, which led to the formation of his Network Rapso Riddim Band.

The band brought out its debut album, Busting Out, in 1981 and Brother Resistance became one of TT’s best-known Rapso performers.

He delivered albums over the last 30 years including Tonight is de Nite (1988), Heart of the Rapso Nation (1992), De Power of Resistance (2000) and When De Riddum Explode (2006).

Among his hits were Ring De Bell, Tonight is De Night, Mother Earth, and Handclapping Song.

Brother Resistance was a true patriot who immensely loved our rich diverse culture and was always in the forefront of promoting and developing it.

Brother Resistance was highly respected in the local, regional and international arts fraternity. He would be sorely missed by many citizens both home and abroad, especially our cultural advocates.

He leaves to mourn a daughter living in the US and other family members. He was a former QRC boy.

UPDATE: Brother Resistance Died of Cancer

Photo: Brother Resistance  

Yvonne Webb & Howard Hughes contributed to this story.

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