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Rasar Amani dies in Las Vegas; local rap artist founded The Lique

Updated October 1, 2021 - 9:51 am

Rasar Amani, the heart and soul of the popular Las Vegas funk/hip-hop/jazz fusion band The Lique, has died. The band confirmed the death of the rap artist on its Instagram and Facebook pages Thursday morning. He was 35.

Word surfaced from fellow musicians on Facebook on Wednesday that Amani had died. Clark County officials put the time of death as just before 11 p.m. Tuesday. Drummer Jeremy Klewicki said Thursday morning that the band had also learned of Amani’s death on Tuesday night. Klewicki added that the band is further respecting the Amani family’s privacy.

Along with Amani and Klewicki, The Lique’s lineup is guitarist Sean Carbone, keyboardist Jason Corpuz and bassist Nick Schmitt. The band was famous for blending soul, jazz, R&B and rap into its own sound.

The Lique’s final performance with Amani was Friday night at Ferguson’s in downtown Las Vegas. That day, the band had announced the release of its second EP, “Raw Vibes: Vol 2.” The Lique has been in the final mixing process on its third album, “Imposter Syndrome,” with Amani’s contribution completed.

The Lique had also booked a Dec. 17 date at The Space as its formal album release party.

In its public statement, the band collectively posted:

”With his voice still ringing in our ears, and his words still resonating through our broken hearts, it is the deepest displeasure of our lives to share this tragic news: our brother Rasar Amani has passed away. We knew Rasar to be a man of uncompromising integrity, with a profound and electrifying dedication to his craft. A man capable of bringing entire rooms to life, despite his perpetual discomfort in the spotlight.”

Since forming in February 2015, The Lique has been a popular draw in such Las Vegas venues as Brooklyn Bowl, The Sayers Club at then SLS (now Sahara), Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip, Velveteen Rabbit in the Arts District and The Space. The five-piece band has also performed at Life is Beautiful, and opened on tour with such national acts as Hiatus Kaiyote, Lecrae, Flo Rida, Emily King and JMSN.

Originally from Sacramento, Amani had moved to Las Vegas in 2014 to perform in the “Vegas Nocturne” show at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. He stayed after the show closed to create The Lique (pronounced “leak”).

Amani has also hosted “The Vinyl Say” at The Writer’s Block, billed as “a collision between music, history, and artistry.”

More from the band’s post about Amani, “We knew him as a man who could change someone’s mind with his words, make someone’s day with his actions, and save someone’s life with his music. An unassuming but undeniable force for positivity and light in the world. A man who was endlessly curious, who sought not necessarily to agree with everyone, but to understand them as deeply and honestly as he could.

“We knew him to be a devout fan of comedy, an NBA 2k junkie, and an absolute menace on the basketball court. He was our leader, our battery, our soul, and our family.

“We will always love him.

“If you’re struggling, know that you are loved. There are people who want to see you tomorrow. All you need to do is reach out. We’ll be there to listen. We will feel this loss for the rest of our days. But his spirit, his memory, and the music that he left behind for us will always be a source of love, peace, and joy. That can never be destroyed.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.