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Cuban Rap & Hip-Hop News

Agencia Cubana de Rap

Caminos de Palabras - Festival Internacional - Zonas Poéticas - Poesía Hablada/Spoken Word

Pablo Herrera: hip-hop & rap producer/DJ/keyboardist/poet 

Rap & Hip-Hop News - Noticias de Rap y Hip-Hop

Cuba & Hip-Hop: A Talk with Sujatha Fernandes (Part 1)  4/6/2015 Oogeewoogee: "lWe sat down with Professor Sujatha Fernandes (Dept. of Sociology at Queens College and the Graduate Center) to discuss the history of Hip Hop resistance, the commodification of the culture, and the impact the normalization will have on the Cuban Hip-Hop community. Professor Sujatha Fernandes has written extensively on global social movements. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, The Huffington Post, American Prospect, and Colorlines."

Obsesión invita a celebrar el Día Internacional de Eliminación de la Discriminación Racial  3/19/2015 Negra Cubana: "El próximo sábado 21 de marzo, la agrupación Supercrónica Obsesión, una de las más reconocidas del hip hop cubano, estará celebrando el Día Internacional de Eliminación de la Discriminación Racial con una presentación en los Jardines del Teatro Mella."

Raperos discuten el hip-hop en Cuba como tema cultural  2/28/2015 Nuevo Herald: "Calvo fue uno de los cuatro panelistas que analizaron el fenómeno cultural y musical del hip hop en Cuba y su impacto en la sociedad de la isla, principalmente los jóvenes. De los panelistas, tres de ellos viven Cuba y son críticos del sistema. Además de Calvo, los otros dos panelistas que vinieron de Cuba fueron Soandry del Río Ferrer, rapero del grupo Hermanos de Causa; y David Escalona Carrillo, del grupo hip hop Omni Zona Franca. La cuarta panelista fue Nora Gámez Torres, reportera que cubre Cuba para el Nuevo Herald y que ha estudiado el tema a profundidad."

Carlos & X Alfonso: Cuba is a mystery, a marvel  2/11/2015 On Cuba: "Carlos and X Alfonso are the male representatives from a family of musicians, with different styles and objectives. Father and son in the same language and with different sounds speak of identity, religion, politics, dreams…"

Raperos cubanos contestan a la AP y al gobierno de Castro  2/10/2015 CubaNet: "Soandry y David D Omni, se presentarán en concierto en La Madriguera de Miami, el próximo 28 de febrero. Ese mismo día ellos participarán en un panel de la Décima Conferencia de Estudios Cubanos y Cubanoamericanos, organizado por el Instituto de Investigaciones Cubanas de la Universidad Internacional de la Florida (FIU)."

Cuba–US Talks and the Fate of Assata Shakur and Nehanda Abiodun  2/2/2015 Havana Times: "Unlike Assata (whose whereabouts are unknown and is believed to be at a secret location, owing to the US police effort to capture her), since the 90s Nehanda has organized a series of campaigns in her home to encourage the creation of a black and Afro-Cuban awareness movement. Her home has become a center for cultural and socio-political projects and the venue of Cuba’s first hip hop gatherings. She has also organized debates on contemporary issues and African history which have seen the participation of activists and artists, such as the Cuban rap band Anonimo Consejo."

Yo defiendo el rap hasta que muera. Segunda Parte y final  1/27/2015 Afromodernidades: Por Alejandro Zamora Montes, entrevisando a Yrak Sáenz, de Doble Filo

Yo defiendo el rap hasta que muera1 (Entrevista al rapero Yrak Sáenz, de Doble Filo. Primera Parte)  1/21/2015 Afromodernidades: "Si de respeto a la tradición hiphopera se trata, nada mejor que escuchar a Yrak Sáenz, un rapero veterano que cuenta con un discurso de doble filo. Semejante a la configuración del hacha de Changó, el Orisha irreverente. Dos tiempos, dos generaciones, dos caminos. Flow y activismo. Yin y Yang. Este experimentado artista del rap cubano no contempla la cultura hip hop de un modo unidireccional: el equilibrio perfecto."

El hip-hop y la USAID: una opinión desde Cuba  12/27/2014 Nuevo Herald: "En la búsqueda de criterios de aquellos vinculados al rap cubano desde sus orígenes, el Nuevo Herald contactó al editor Roberto Zurbano, fundador de la única revista cubana de hip-hop, Movimiento, y activo promotor del debate racial en la isla."

Cuban Hip-Hop Was Born in Alamar  12/26/2014 Daily Beast: "I am not the first or last person to document the hip-hop scene in Cuba. In 2000, when I was 18 years old, I traveled to Cuba to make my first film La Ciudad del Hip-Hop about the flourishing scene in Alamar, a district in East Havana that the locals referred to as “The City of Hip-Hop.”

Silvio Rodríguez defiende a Los Aldeanos y aboga por el derecho a pensar diferente  12/16/2014 Café Furte: “El informe de AP no dice en ningún momento que los raperos supieran que la USAID estaba detrás del proyecto y algunos medios cubanos publicaron que EEUU le había pagado a los raperos, cosas así”, escribó Rodríguez en respuesta a foristas de su blog Segunda Cita. “Es lo incorrecto que yo veo en la información que se dio aquí, no había necesidad de enfocarlo así porque eso ofende a los muchachos y no les deja salida. Incluso no les facilita una reflexión constructiva, los pone a la defensiva, les alimenta los resentimientos. A mí me parece una basura”.

Why USAID Could Never Spark a Hip Hop Revolution in Cuba  12/16/2014 Sujatha Fernandez: "The documents secured by the AP reveal a frightening level of manipulation of Cuban rappers by USAID. Like with ZunZuneo, the failed Cuban twitter project also engineered by USAID, the actions of this agency put Cubans at risk of state repression and threatened a closure of the critical spaces that rappers had already built and defended. USAID realizes the power of culture to provide a powerful political voice for young people. What it doesn’t realize is that in a society shaped by successive generations of revolutionary projects, any attempt to engineer a U.S.-affiliated movement from above is destined to be revealed for the farce that it is."

5 things to know about USAID's Cuban hip-hop plan  12/11/2014 AP: "The USAID hip-hop program was inspired by Serbian student protest concerts that helped oust former President Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. Serbians involved in that effort guided the Cuban hip-hop program."

US agency infiltrated Cuban hip-hop scene to spark youth unrest  12/10/2014 Guardian: "Like its previous efforts, including exploding cigars, Cuban Twitter and the botched Bay of Pigs invasion, the attempt to co-opt rappers ended in ignominious failure, new documents have shown. For more than two years, the American development aid organisation USAid has been secretly trying to infiltrate Cuba’s underground hip-hop movement, according to records obtained by the Associated Press."

Activistas cubanos llaman a discutir públicamente la discriminación racial  11/16/2014 Nuevo Herald: "Madrazo llama además la atención sobre la ausencia en el programa de “los protagonistas del movimiento underground del hip-hop quienes fueron los pioneros en visibilizar públicamente en los 90 la realidad quemante del racismo”"

The Rhythms of Dissent – Language, Race and Rap in the Modern World  11/12/2014 Sujatha Fernandez: "Cuban rapper Julio Cardenas relates how he learned to rap by listening to the song “Boricuas on Da Set” by Fat Joe over and over on his Walkman. “I didn’t know anything about flow, cadence, rhythm. I’d never studied music,” he told me. “What was guiding me was the sound of the voices, the mixture of each, and the cadences. I started to rap over the top of this song, write my first lyrics.” Imitation could be an informal style of learning that gave rise to more original pieces."

¿Qué es el Rap para Tomás Fernández Robaina? II Parte  9/14/2014 Afromodernidades:  Entrevista con Tomás Fernández Robaina - "Hay que tomar conciencia de que nosotros los desclasados, los económicamente marginados, tenemos una lucha que debemos enfrentar unidos. Blancos, negros, mulatos, chinos, etc. Y a partir de esa lucha, cada uno como hombre, como mujer, como religioso, cada cual con su orientación sexual, unir todo lo que nos une y apartar lo que nos disgrega. Entonces la contribución del rap es llevar a sus canciones, a sus expresiones, todo lo que pueda unir estas nuevas voces, este nuevo pensamiento, este nuevo afán por lograr una sociedad mejor."

¿Qué es el Rap para Tomás Fernández Robaina? I Parte  9/12/2014 Afromodernidades:  Entrevista con Tomás Fernández Robaina - "En aras de intentar ser lo más justo posible y sin pretensión alguna de absolutizar, creo que nadie podría dudar a estas alturas que Tomás Fernández Robaina (Tomasito) es el intelectual cubano que más ha luchado (y lucha) por el movimiento hiphopero en Cuba."

Cuban Music: Neither Rap Nor Reggaeton  8/25/2014 Havana Times: "The organizers of the contest are evidently clear on what qualifies as “Cuban” music and what does not. “Ballads”, a genre dating back to medieval European poetry, invoking the genius of Polish composer Chopin and the popular music of nearly all Western countries of the twentieth century, is “Cuban.” “Traditional songs,” which can be just about anything, are also “Cuban.” Neither rap nor reggaeton are, however."

El rap cubano no se mueve  7/28/2014 Diario de Cuba: "Después de una década de existencia y 11 ediciones publicadas, la revista del hip hop cubano, Movimiento, ha terminado su vida entre las publicaciones culturales del catálogo conjunto del Ministerio de Cultura y sus dependencias. Auspiciada por el Instituto Cubano de la Música (ICM) y la Agencia Cubana de Rap (ACR), la revista representa el único espacio que intenta trazar y legitimar una cartografía literaria sobre la cultura hip hop en Cuba… El argumento esgrimido por la actual dirección de la ACR para justificar la desaparición inmediata de Movimiento —días antes de realizarse el lanzamiento de la última edición (número 11) en febrero de 2014— ha sido "la depresión del presupuesto para sostener esta publicación semestral, añadiendo la escasa venta de los ejemplares, que impide recuperar un mínimo de las inversiones permitidas para su impresión… Sin embargo, datos consultados en Correos de Cuba —distribuidora y comercializadora de Movimiento hasta principios de 2013— el décimo número de la revista se había agotado en sus puntos de ventas en un récord que superaba a los números anteriores. Por otro lado, fuentes de la Distribuidora Nacional del Libro —actual comercializadora de la revista— reflejan que la venta del onceno número es aceptable para una revista de música rap en Cuba."

Me dicen Cuba: “si dejo de rapear me muero”  6/14/2014 Negra Cubana: "A Bárbaro (el Urbano) Vargas le conocí hace 4 años durante una competición de Mcs que por el tiempo se celebraba en La Habana. Le vi varias veces además en el Pa’ rriba, evento que tomaba la cancha de baloncesto de 23 y C, una vez al mes, y que eran organizadas por la Agencia Cubana de Rap."

Rap cubano en el cine Avenida  5/24/2014 Granma: "La gira nacional de la Agencia Cubana de Rap concluirá este sábado 24 con un concierto de diversos exponentes del movimiento de hip-hop cubano en el cine Avenida. El cartel, que arrancará a partir de las 8:30 p.m., ha anunciado a Etián Brebaje Man, Adversario, Company Yoruba, Sigrid, Yimikonklase, Bárbaro el Urbano Vargas, Cuentas Claras y El Continuo."

Entrevista con Papá Humbertico: El rap es muchas cosas  4/26/2014 Jiribilla 

Krudas Cubensi: Hip hop without boundaries  4/17/2014 On Cuba: "Krudas broke every traditional ways of making rap music and mostly men supremacy in the Cuban stages. According to Ariel Fernandez Díaz: Krudas arrived to tell us that our speech is missing something, that there are certain ingredients missing and that they have whatwe lack and that they are going to stand by us in that battlebut we have to listen to them. I believe this work is important because Krudas succeed in raising awareness on topics we don’t want to discuss or we feel awkward when we have to talk about them."

A Factory for Producing Art  2/25/2014 Cuba Now: Ingterview with X Alfonso - "Fábrica de Arte Cubano, (Cuban Art Factory) a multidisciplinary cultural project headed by musician X Alfonso, will soon open its doors at 26th and 11th streets, in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución municipality. The project, which now has its headquarters, emerged from an idea of the artist. On an experimental basis, he called on people from different artistic disciplines to interact with the public and set up communication among different tendencies and expressions. After its first performances at Teatro Mella, Fábrica de Arte relocated to the PABEXPO exposition grounds, where it began to take shape as a program that needed its own creative space: a factory for creating. And now that it has one, sets course towards greater goals."

Una nueva revista alternativa  2/19/2014 Diario de Cuba: "'Misceláneo', dirigida por Miriam Real Arcia, presenta en La Habana su número cero, dedicado al hip hop."

Caminos de palabras: INTERACTUAR YA!!!.  9/30/2013 Cuba - Queremos. Frente Ciudadano.: "Hermanos, sinceros saludos a todos, dias despues de que Nuestros Hermanos de "Caminos de palabras", se incorporaran a nuestros humildes debates, ha surgido un intercambio de opiniones e informaciones de ciertos hermanos nuestros con ellos, las cuales nos han ayudado a conocernos y en casos concretos se han llegado a mutuos acuerdos de colaboracion y ayuda mutua, no nos tomamos la atribucion de mencionar a nuestros hermanos que en la practica le estan ayudando a nuestros hermanos en la Isla, ya que considero que es una prerrogativa de "Caminos de palabras", con previo consentimiento de la persona a la cual se le quiere agradecer publicamente, pero incondicionamente les decimos: Muchasss Graciasss Hermanos."

Madres cubanas  8/30/2013 Negra Cubana: "María, la madre de ..eltipoeste.., director del grupo de rap Obsesión, es una ¨pura¨ cubana como muchas, solo que ella rapea. Acá está la prueba: [video]"

A Look at Cuba’s Rap Band “CON100CIA”  8/29/2013 Havana Times: "My hobby used to be writing poetry. My friends encouraged me to follow a dream which began to take shape in November of 2009. For Marcel and Rafael, it was an easier transition, because they’ve always loved the genre. Rafael had already done some rap when he was younger. All of us would agree, I think, that we chose rap because of its roots, its history, because of what it represented when it first emerged, for giving us a tool to express our ideas, having our voices heard, not only to speak on behalf of certain things, but to win over the hearts and minds of people as well."

Cimarrón: una historia de raperos  7/22/2013 Palamúsica Underground: "Cimarrón: Proyecto hip hop radicado en Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba. Sus integrantes son Yasbel Enrique Rivera Garbey/Negro Fino es, director del grupo y líder. También es el máximo creador de la poética. Maikel Despaigne González/ Negro-Negro, líder y oponente de Negro Fino. Y Jans Antonio Chaveco Reyes/Negro de la Fe, en el coro."

El Brujo, maestro del spoken word en Cuba  7/22/2013 Palamúsica Underground: "Elier Antonio Álvarez Arcia, más conocido como El Brujo, es uno de los principales poetas del spoken word en Cuba. En una entrevista que ofreció a PMU contó algunas de sus más importantes vivencias en el transcurso de su vida artística."

Raperas en Santiago de Cuba  7/8/2013 Palamúsica Underground: "Llegaron a Santiago de Cuba con las ansias de hacer un encuentro de raperas y aunque no pudo ser, la pasaron en grande. Trajeron libros, arte y mensajes en contra de la discriminación y la violencia femenina. Ellas son más que mujeres haciendo rap, son artistas, fotógrafas, productoras, promotoras, en fin creadoras. Lourdes Suárez, protagonista del Proyecto Comunitario Itinerante “En mi barrio”, me confesó estar encantada con Santiago de Cuba pues nunca había venido a trabajar de esa manera: “ni a pasar los trabajos que estoy pasando, gratis, de gracia. ¡Qué bueno! ¡Qué bien! Porque uno a partir de que va pasando trabajo, se va forjando y va creando realmente su arte, su valor como humano."

Escobar, ¿rapero o productor?  6/10/2013 Palamúsica Underground: "Abel Sánchez Escobar es un joven rapero de 24 años que vive en el municipio Arroyo Naranjo, provincia La Habana. Escobar es el nombre artístico de este cantante que comenzó en el mundo del hip hop en el año 2007. No obstante, el artista reconoce que algunos años atrás ya sentía atracción hacia este género musical. “Comencé a escuchar esta música cuando tenía 14 años. En ese momento sólo escuchaba rap puertorriqueño, el rap cubano de aquel entonces no me llamaba la atención”. "

Kmerún y Yelow Music: tras el sueño  6/10/2013 Palamúsica Underground: "En las puertas de Chicharrones, barrio mítico del oriente cubano, está la casa de Kmerún, quien ya anda realizando su sueño con el estudio Yelow Music. Arturo Laourence Mora es un músico que se desdobla con una facilidad vocal admirable, canta como MC en uno de los grupos más emblemáticos de Santiago, Sentimiento Rapero, y además es cantor de uno de los coros pioneros de toda Cuba, el Madrigalista."

El AKDmiko, no precisamente de academia  6/10/2013 Palamúsica Underground: "En Cuba, muchos son los universitarios que se encuentran ejerciendo profesiones apartadas de la carrera estudiada. El interés por la música es una de las disímiles razones, y por la que Pedro Enrique Muñoz Biart, conocido artísticamente como “Mr. Pedro el natural AKDmiko”, decidió simultanearla a su carrera. Desconociendo los elementos que se aprenden en las escuelas de música, el rapero-informático, como se define, poco a poco fue perfeccionando su talento innato a través de clases de canto, música y proyección escénica, en la Casa de la Cultura de Arroyo Naranjo."

Mucho más que una delirante Obsesión  5/27/2013 Palamúsica Underground: "El capitalino municipio de Regla es el hogar del dúo Obsesión, considerado uno de los más relevantes exponentes de la escena cubana de rap. Recientemente participó en el importante evento Romerías de Mayo, compartiendo con importantes agrupaciones del país como Causa Justa, Onda Livre y Las Positivas. Se presentó el 4 de mayo con gran acogida de público en Plaza del Arte Joven, donde interpretaron canciones de su último CD Disco Negro, que recibiera el premio en la categoría de hip hop durante la pasada edición del Cubadisco."

Krudas Cubensi: rap desde las trompas de Falopio  5/23/2013 Negra Cubana Tenía Que Ser: "Pertenezco al grupo, aún exiguo -pero no será siempre así-, de cubanas que privilegiamos discursos feministas radicales acerca de las políticas del cuerpo y el erotismo. Por eso soy más que una seguidora de la agrupación Krudas Cubensi, y ante mi imposibilidad para rimar, me expreso a través de ellas. O mejor, estas sabias mujeres logran ponerle ritmo y flow a sus pensamientos que también son los míos. Las suyas son canciones donde la vivencia de ser mujeres que ¨gustan de papayas¨, la libertad física y de pensamiento, el amor, la emigración, etc., se mezclan con unas ganas irremediables de hacer gozar y bailar."

Krudas Cubensi: paradigma para los jóvenes artistas  5/20/2013 Palamúsica Underground: "Krudas Cubensi es una agrupación de rap compuesta por Odaymara Cuesta “Pasita” y Olivia Prendes “Pelusa”. Estas féminas han evolucionado el movimiento de hip hop cubano, adentrándose en los temas menos suscitados por sus colegas masculinos, y utilizándolos como punta de lanza para defender a las mujeres de los prejuicios sociales. Aunque la agrupación radica en los Estados Unidos desde 2006, siempre regresa para hacerle llegar al público cubano sus más recientes fonogramas."

Hip-hop’s Infatuation With Assata Shakur: It’s Complicated  5/3/2013 All Hip Hop: "Shakur holds a major distinction that probably contributes to the ire of her detractors. Simply put, she got away."

Obsesión regresará a las Romerías  4/18/2013 Romerías de Mayo: "El disco negro, del grupo cubano Obsesión, premio Cubadisco en la categoría música rap, se presentará en Holguín como parte de la vigésima edición de las Romerías de Mayo. “Es un placer tener la oportunidad de participar una vez más en las Romerías. Compartir con artistas de probada calidad de diferentes zonas del país es otro de nuestros incentivos para asistir”, confirmaron Magia López y Alexey Rodríguez, integrantes de Obsesión. El Disco Negro… es la más reciente producción de la agrupación, considerada como “la conciencia de la escena del hip-hop cubano”. Consta de doce temas: ocho canciones y cuatro interludios, cuya intención es otorgar seriedad al tratamiento de manifestaciones del racismo anti-negro."

Jay-Z Feat. Common - Open Letter Part. II (Remix) *NEW 2013*  4/15/2013 YouTube: "hot fyah!!!"

Jay-Z f. Common "Open Letter Pt. II [J. Period Exclusive]"  4/15/2013 Hiphop DX: "I listen to it again and the shit is fire!!!!" -- "tight" -- "Just dope no more to say"

An Open Letter To Jay-Z And Beyonce About That Cuba Trip... from Michael Skolnik  4/11/2013 Global Grind: "After a long day shoot on New Year's Eve day, one of the only hip-hop DJ's on the island invited me to his house for dinner. I happily accepted and in just a few hours I found myself around his family dining room table, with his mom, dad, sister and elderly grandmother. When the New Year's Eve dinner came out of the oven, I spotted just five pieces of pork. I was the sixth. My man never told his parents that I was coming over. As they put the pork chop on my plate, I looked over at grandma and her plate was empty. Nada. Just some beans and rice and some sweet plantains. Not really sure what to do, I kept offering my piece of pork to grandma relentlessly, but she would not have it. In maybe the few words she knew of English, she looked at me and said, "my casa is your casa."

Cuban Hip-Hop Group Las Krudas Embraces Feminism  2/17/2013 Women's e-News: "Las Krudas is part of an art movement in Cuba created by black feminists, says Fari Nzinga in this essay in the anthology "Getting In is Not Enough." But like female rappers in the U.S., they fight invisibility in the industry."

Las Krudas Continue Being Cuba  2/7/2013 Havana Times: by Sandra Alvarez - "Rhythmically, what currently stands out in the beats that back up Las Krudas’s lyrics are the presence of Latin American genres such as cumbia. Likewise, their experiences in touring various venues in the United States, as well as their visit to Mexico for example, have left imprints on their current compositions. Notwithstanding, they remain our Krudas Cubensi because they continue the songs of those of African descent and of Afro-Cuban religions, as well as those of our mothers. They remain Cuban, above all, given the possibility of their returning every year to the island of their lives to rap to us from their fallopian tubes."

El Mejunje: concierto de rap Ahora por mi Cuba  1/20/2013 Trastienda Musical: "Trastienda musical conversó con Gustavo Pérez Silverio, licenciado en Historia y promotor cultural, quien fue el productor general y organizador del concierto."

Spoken Word Poetas en La Habana  1/20/2013 YouTube: "Elier Alvarez en El barrio Cuatro Caminos Centro Habana, Cuba Mayo 2012"

Alkana. Reggaetonera, rapera, mc  12/20/2012 Havana Cultura: "Mileidys González, alias Alkana, is one of the main ambassadors of the feminine branch of the Cubaton Hip Hop. Describing herself as a true “feminist”, she regrets the lack of representation that afflicts women in her musical scene. “If you speak about hip-hop, you’ll always end up speaking about men first, and you’ll have to dig deeper to find something else. That scandalizes me, because there’s a lot of women doing a great job”, she explains."

Bobby LeFebre in Cuba  7/18/2012 Bobby LeFebre: "The following are journal entries from my trip last week to Cuba. I very rarely share journal writing as it is incomplete and without structure, but I wanted to share my experience with the many people that were interested and sent me private messages about my trip."

New Beat rising: Krudas Cubensi's revolutionary sound reaches Austin and beyond  7/4/2012 Austin 360: "They took the microphones and rapped about being fat and proudly so, being feminist, black and vegan. The power of these never-before-heard rhymes hit the mostly male crowds in Cuba's capital hard. Unsuspecting audiences during early Krudas Cubensi shows left shocked, in a dizzying haze of powerful poetry and socially conscious rap. During Cuba's hip-hop infancy, male rappers had already begun raising consciousness about race and class. "But the topic of gender was never touched," said Krudas Cubensi MC Olivia Prendes in Spanish. Krudas Cubensi now call Austin home. Still on a mission for social justice, their hard-hitting music has spread to an international crowd. Their new album, "Levántate" ("Get Up"), debuts Friday with a CD release party at Esquina Tango in East Austin. "Levántate" features collaborations with both Mexican and Cuban artists."

Festival de rap en La Habana (I)  2/29/2012 Havana Times: "Los presentes quedaron sorprendidos y emocionados con el material, lo que reveló sus criterios, cuestionamientos y análisis."

Festival de Rap regresa a Alamar  2/17/2012 Red Observatorio Crítico: "El día 24 a las 10 am hasta las 5 pm se comenzará con un Coloquio, cuyas Ponencias versarán sobre la Memoria Histórica de la población negra y mestiza de Cuba y otros temas actuales como la relación del Hip Hop con la Industria Cultural, Racialidad, Racismo, Instituciones Culturales y Política, entre otros."

Controversia entre raperos cubanos (Soandry)  2/8/2012 Havana Times: "Hermanos de Causa, conocida agrupación cubana de rap, fundada en 1997, es miembro de la Agencia Cubana de Rap desde el 2010. Su causa más reciente: lograr la democión de Magia López como directora de la Agencia. Soandry del Río Ferrer, integrante único, tiene la palabra."

The Cuban Rap Agency Controversy (Sekou’s Version)  2/1/2012 Havana Times: by Yusimi Rodriguez - "HT: You weren’t bothered that Magia was a woman who was directing a lot of male rappers? Sekou: That’s not the case. We’ve always had female directors at the Rap Agency. If another woman director comes later, that’s fine. I think men have held more than enough management positions in the world for more than enough time. If a woman is leading and doing the job, at least in my personal case, that’s not a problem. But it’s a problem if someone is in that position to carry out certain responsibilities but they don’t fulfill them as they should. If tomorrow they make another woman the director, that’s fine. But as artists we want them to do their job for us. We want to have a director who facilitates things for us. I want someone who will help me if I want to do a concert that requires a lot of logistics. I want someone who will support me with the expenses. However, if you can’t help me but you can spend money on yourself, then what’s up with that? Those are things one might suspect and comment about, but when you go through the paperwork you realize that it’s an objective fact."

New Year’s Hip Hop Concert in Alamar  12/29/2011 Havana Times: "The Alamar housing projects on the east side of the Cuban capital will host a massive outdoor New Year’s Day hip hop concert starting at 10:00 pm on January 1, 2012. Sponsored by the Cuban Rap Agency, the concert, which also comes on the 53rd anniversary of the Cuban revolution, has the following invited guest artists: Doble Filo, Brebaje Man, Obsesión, Anónimo Consejo, Yimi Konclaze, La Real, Adverzario, Eldiscipulorealsetenta Mano Armada Bárbaro el Urbano Vargas, Cuentas Claras, Hermanazos, Hermanos de Causa y Ruta 11."

Cuba Hip Hop Has Its Magic  12/22/2011 Havana Times: by Yusimi Rodriguez - "Recently a large part of the rappers that belong to the Cuban Rap Agency sent a letter to Culture Minister Abel Prieto, in which they complained about the work of Magia López at the head of the agency and asked that she be removed. This is an interview with Magia for Havana Times made before the sending of the letter. She talks about the CD Disco Negro and other topics including her work at the Cuban Rap Agency."

Cuba Hip Hop Has Its Magic  12/22/2011 Havana Times: Interview with Magia Lopez - "One of the emblematic groups of Cuban hip hop is the duo “Obsesion,” made up by Alexei Rodríguez (aka: El tipo este) and Magia Lopez, who is also the manager of the Cuban Rap Agency."

X Alfonso y las venturas o desventuras de un click  12/17/2011 Cuba Profunda: "Primero, una “flotilla buscapleitos” procedente de la Florida pretendió armar todo un espectáculo de fuegos artificiales ante el Malecón habanero, en ocasión de la celebración del Día de los Derechos Humanos. Pero fuera de algunos disidentes –famosos por sus poco veraces informes- y de algunos colegas de la prensa extranjera, nadie los vio. Y mucho menos X y sus seguidores que estaban a diez cuadras del mar muy ocupados en hacer y regalar música cubana, a pesar de la lluvia. Al músico no le gustó mucho la idea de que lo relacionaran con el intento provocador. “El concierto –aseguró a la prensa- lo teníamos previsto con Unicef para ese día desde mucho tiempo atrás”. Luego, la “maquinaria mediático-cibernética” que acosa a la isla pretendió robarle el show a X Alfonso y anunció en la red de redes que apoyaría la mascarada de fuegos artificiales, combinando acciones desde la blogósfera mercenaria y sus espacios en Twitter, Facebook o similares."

Hip-Hop N' Politics: The Anniversary Of Black Panther Assata Shakur Escaping Prison And Fleeing To Cuba - Video & Text  11/2/2011 Hip Hop Wired 

Straight Outta Havana  8/6/2011 NYT: "Cuban rap is also special for the caliber of its lyrics. Thanks to the country’s excellent and free schools, rappers — although predominantly black and from poorer neighborhoods — received a high degree of education. Cuba’s most prolific rap producer, Pablo Herrera, was a professor of English at the University of Havana. Rap lyrics mine Cuba’s literature and history in their portrayals of the tribulations of street life."

Destacan artistas en La Habana política incluyente del proceso cubano con afrodescendientes  6/15/2011 Radio Havana: "La directora de la Agencia de Rap de Cuba, Magia López, resaltó que el proceso revolucionario ofrece oportunidades a los afrodescendientes para su desarrollo obstaculizado por el bloqueo económico, comercial y financiero impuesto por Estados Unidos al país desde hace casi medio siglo."

MOVIMIENTO SE MUEVE: A PROPÓSITO DEL TEMA RACIAL  6/12/2011 UNEAC: "Movimiento, no. 9, retoma ciertos aspectos del debate que, en el seno de la sociedad cubana, se tiene acerca del tema racial, a partir del discurso que ha promovido el hip hop cubano sobre dicha temática. Históricamente los exponentes del género en la isla, en especial el rap y el spoken word, han abordado distintos aspectos de la problemática racial: la identidad, la afroreligiosidad, la negritud, el racismo y la discriminación, entre otros."

Disco de rap cubano proyecta el tema del racismo  5/27/2011 Negra cubana tenia que ser: "El Disco Negro de Obsesión, la más reciente producción del grupo de rap liderado por Magia López y Alexei Rodríguez, ..el tipo este.., continúa en su escalada de reconocimientos y divulgación de la problemática racial en Cuba."

Common gets a bad rap on Assata Shakur  5/14/2011 Guardian: "So, cue conservative outrage over Michelle Obama's inviting rapper Common to a White House poetry reading, because Common wrote an adulatory song about Black Panther Assata Shakur. The New Jersey state police protested. Is it possible that the vile New Jersey police – just this week it was announced that Newark's police department is being investigated by the justice department for multiple civil rights violations – and their rightwing puppetmasters do not know about COINTELPRO? That while Soviet tanks crushed Prague's spring, in America, police assassins, provocateurs and slanderers felled our saints as they slept?"

Mujeres negras: imponerse como raperas  4/27/2011 IPS: "Aunque pocas voces femeninas integran el coro de personas dedicadas al rap en Cuba, mujeres como Magia López, Yamay Mejías y Yadira Pintado reafirman su espacio dentro de este género musical, marginado y estigmatizado durante años en la isla caribeña y que mantiene en la actualidad su carácter contestatario y crítico."

Descarga final del concierto. Sekou de Anónimo Consejo  9/30/2010 Estado de Sats 

The Sound of Change: Hip Hop in Cuba  9/28/2010 National Radio Project: "Featuring: Alexey Rodriguez, hip-hop artist, co-founder of Obsesion; Magia Lopez, hip-hop artist, co-founder Obsesion; Roberto Ruiz Rebo, filmmaker and journalist for Cuban television; Roberto Zurbano, editor of Movimiento, and worker at the Casa de la Cultura Latinoamericana in Havana."

The Sound of Change: Hip Hop in Cuba  9/28/2010 Radio Project: "On this edition, we hear about hip-hop and change in Cuban society, and what people on the ground are saying about new phases in the Cuban revolution. Thanks to Sujata Dey for producing this radio documentary. Featuring: Alexey Rodriguez, hip-hop artist, co-founder of Obsesion; Magia Lopez, hip-hop artist, co-founder Obsesion; Roberto Ruiz Rebo, filmmaker and journalist for Cuban television; Roberto Zurbano, editor of Movimiento, and worker at the Casa de la Cultura Latinoamericana in Havana."

Not Fidel's Cuba Anymore When Los Aldeanos Perform in Miami  9/1/2010 Huff Post 

Asociación Hermanos Saíz celebrará el próximo 7 de agosto los 100 años de Esther Montes de Oca  7/27/2010 Cubarte: Hermanos Saíz runs a rap festival in Havana, among many other cultural events.

CUBA: Black Women Rap Against Discrimination  8/13/2009 IPS: "They are few in number, but women’s loud chants of resistance against sexism, racism and discrimination against sexual minorities have left an indelible mark on the hip hop movement in Cuba, a little more than a decade old."

Rapera Lumidee graba clip en Cuba (+ Video)  8/4/2009 CubaDebate: "Más conocida por su éxito de hace seis años, “Never Leave You” (Nunca te dejaré), la rapera y cantante de 24 años vino a Cuba para aportar solos de rap en un video de la melodía “Kandi”, de Arash Labaf, un cantante nacido en Irán."

Poesía-Rap  8/1/2009 Cuba Encuentro: Textos de Soandry del Río (Hermanos de Causa) «Tengo», «Lágrimas Negras», «Negro Cubano»

HIP HOP: Alicia pateando el espejo: mujeres en la cultura hip hop  7/21/2009 Negra Cubana: "Para quien intente el trazado exacto y objetivo de un mapa que facilite el entendimiento de ese universo cultural y rico en matices, contradicciones y búsquedas que es el hip-hop."

Orishas cancel Sunday set at Jazz Fest  4/25/2009 Times Picayune, Louisiana: "Cuban hip-hop group Orishas will not perform as scheduled at Jazz Fest's Congo Square stage on Sunday, April 26. A Jazz Fest spokesperson said the group's members, who live in Europe, were not able to enter the country."

CUBA: Black Women Rap Against Discrimination  4/5/2009 IPS: published 8/07 by Dalia Acosta

Saunders sheds light on Cuban underground culture  3/31/2008 Lehigh University: "Tanya Saunders spends many a day tucked into her office in Price Hall from morning until night, plugging away at her dissertation and preparing a book manuscript. But in recent months, her writing has been interrupted by the chime of her e-mail, which she quickly attends to. She permits the distraction because many such e-mails bring good news from Cuban musicians and artists who have sorted out schedules, documentation and paperwork in anticipation of joining her for an upcoming conference here at Lehigh. Saunders, a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, has been planning a first-of-its kind event called “El Proyecto,” which will bring her dissertation and years of research on Cuban culture to life. “El Proyecto seeks to play a key role in the global hip-hop movement and in Cuba’s underground hip-hop movement,” according to Saunders. “It’s the first international platform to reunite Cuban underground hip-hop artists and the global hip-hop movement in performance, art and discourse.” "

LOS RAPEROS: RAP, RACE, AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION IN CONTEMPORARY CUBA  10/5/2007 University of Texas: published in 2004 - "This dissertation explores the emergent movimiento de hip hop cubano (the Cuban hip hop movement) as a critical site to examine the interplay of race and social transformation in contemporary Cuba. Following Cuba’s post-1990 economic crisis know as the “special period,” the ethnographic investigation centers on the ways young Afro-Cubans are utilizing the expressive cultural space of rap music and broader hip hop “culture” to performatively fashion new kinds of transnationally engaged black identity and related race-based social critique. The author suggest that through such transnationally informed identity processes a new generation of Afro-Cuban youth are positioning themselves in strategic response to the shifting dynamics of race and class in a socialist Cuba increasingly shaped by the interpenetration of global capital and related free-market transformations. In a post-“utopian” Cuba characterized by economic dollarization, expanding tourism, rising social stratification, and – significantly – resurgent levels of racial inequality, the author’s analysis seeks to understand how these emergent subjectivities and the social critiques they invoke pose challenges to, as well as contribute to a current reconfiguring of nationally-bounded constructions of race and corresponding ideologies of national non-racialism. He additionally draws attention to the evolving negotiated relationship between Cuban hip hop as a new, potentially oppositional identity-based social phenomenon, and the Cuban state as it attempts to institutionalize hip hop within a prescriptive, socially homogenizing frame of revolutionary national culture. In turn, Cuban rap has come to occupy a unique site of racially-positioned critique within revolutionary Cuba, serving as a key actor in an evolving black public sphere predicated on the assertion of black political difference within a previously configured non-racial Cuban national imaginary. The author proposes that Cuban hip hop in this capacity represents a critical manifestation of, as well as an active social agent within the shifting transnational complexities of national racial formation in Cuba today."

Cuba: Gender, Sexuality, and Women Rappers  9/4/2007 Upside Down World: Excerpted from the new book Cuba Represent!: Cuban Arts, State Power, and the Making of New Revolutionary Cultures, by Sujatha Fernandes - "When I first visited Cuba in 1998, women's presence in hip-hop was still negligible. At concerts I would come across male rappers with their gold medallions, Fubu gear, and mindless lyrics about women, cars, and guns, the latter two hardly a reality for most young Cuban men. Over the years, there have been important changes in gender politics within Cuba, particularly in rap music, and women within the genre feel empowered to speak of issues such as sexuality, feminism, as well as gender roles and stereotyping."

Rap Calls for ‘Revolution Within the Revolution’  8/14/2007 IPS: "The aggressive gestures and lyrics of hip hop are one reason why this music style has been criticised in Cuba. "If (rappers) are aggressive on stage, it’s because they’ve been downtrodden for 500 years, and because they live on a small plot, in a house that’s falling down, and have no chance of recording a disc," said Carmen González, a poet and independent researcher. According to González, the racial equality that was decreed after the 1959 triumph of the Cuban Revolution has not been effective because of the "five centuries of social disadvantage" suffered by black people, who comprise the majority of hip hop movement artists."

MUSIC-CUBA: Rap Calls for ‘Revolution Within the Revolution’  8/14/2007 IPS: "“I think Cuban record companies are only looking for music that markets itself on its own, like salsa, reggaeton – dance music,” said Afro Velásquez, a member of the group Hermanazos, which with Obsesión makes up the independent recording project La Fabri_k, a response to the indifference of national recording studios to including rap in their catalogues."

Black Women Rap Against Discrimination  8/13/2007 IPS: "Women’s first challenge within hip hop was to confront a ‘machista’ patriarchal society, which gave them a role even within their marginalisation," poet and freelance researcher Carmen González, who is writing a book about what women rappers are saying on this Caribbean island, told IPS. "Not every woman dares to get up on a stage and rap, because the social perception of hip hop is that it is a violent, male thing," said the expert. However, some have defied prejudice and have earned recognition within the movement."

Magia López Directora de la Agencia Cubana de Rap.  6/25/2007 INÉS MARÍA MARTIATU - LITERATURA AFROCUBANA: "La integrante junto a Alexei Rodríguez del dúo Obsesión, acaba de asumir la Dirección de la Agencia Cubana de Rap. Obsesión con Hermanazos constituyen el proyecto La Fabrik .La prestigiosa revista Billboard seleccionó su disco La Fabrik como una de las seis mejores producciones entre un conglomerado de 1500 álbumes independientes. Esta dinámica mujer es cantante y compositora de temas de la significación de “La llaman puta” y es una de las figuras más sobresalientes dentro del movimiento hiphopero de nuestro país con hondas raíces en la comunidad y que ya se hace sentir nacional e internacionalmente. Felicidades y éxitos. Esperemos que cumpla una positiva labor en la promoción del movimiento Hip Hop cubano, que al decir del crítico y ensayista Roberto Zurbano constituye una alternativa a “las expresiones neoracistas que han venido emergiendo en la vida cotidiana cubana del siglo XXI”."

Three US rap stars denounce the September 11th lie  1/31/2007 Voltaire Net 

Cuban Rappers Want Their Own Revolution  12/20/2006 Hispanic Business: "Only nine groups are part of Cuba's rap agency. Of the remaining 500 or more across the island, some push the envelope, voicing discontent with Cuban society in language that is as blunt as the accompanying beat is loud."

Exploring Cuban hip-hop.  10/9/2006 Seattle Weekly: "The rise of hip-hop in the country over the past decade reflects this. Herrera estimates that there are currently around 800 rap groups in Cuba, and the hip-hop festisval has been held every August for nine consecutive yearsfirst solely amongst Alamar's seaside grid of dilapidated high-rise apartment buildings, then spreading to venues in other parts of Havana. These days, the festival gets a boost from a sponsor, the infant Cuban Rap Agency, an unprecedented government bureau formed less than a year ago, marking hip-hop's acceptance as a part of Cuban national culture."

Play it tough  8/24/2006 Guardian: "Now she has turned to documentary, producing East of Havana (directed by Jauretsi Saizabitoria and Emilia Menocal), which last week saw its British premiere at the Edinburgh international film festival. Charting the experiences of talented young hip-hop artists Soandry, Mikki Flow and Magyori, it is part document of a musical movement, and part meditation on loss and exile, with some of its most affecting material relating to Soandry's elder brother, Vladimir, who escaped Cuba a decade ago for the US."

Fiesta del Rap en Baracoa  8/18/2006 Cubarte: " El Festival de Rap RAPSODIA, se desarrollará del 24 al 26 de agosto en este municipio de la provincia de Guantánamo y se realiza de manera anual. Está patrocinado por la Dirección Municipal de Cultura, Poder Popular Municipal, la UJC, AHS y el Museo Matachín. El Festival de Rap RAPSODIA surge en el municipio en el año 2003, por una idea nacida en el seno de la Asociación "Hermanos Saíz" del municipio, específicamente en el Movimiento de Raperos que la misma agrupa, por la importancia que va cobrando en la actualidad la inserción de este género en nuestra cultura, la mezcla del mismo con nuestras tradiciones e idiosincrasia, así como el trabajo de prevención social que lleva intrínsecamente, aspectos los cuales han sido constatados por el reconocimiento social de este evento."

Gender, Identity, Sexuality, and Social Communication in Hip-Hop  11/1/2005 Movimiento: "When we make reference to our subjectivities and emotions we must work on our own racism, our own homophobias and even our own classism, because if we continue breeding privileges in our interpersonal relations, few of the changes we are demanding will ever be made."

From afar, Orishas carry Cuba's new vibe  10/28/2005 Miami Herald: "Europe-based but not exiles, Cuban hip hoppers Orishas, insist you don't have to live in the island to rap about Cuba. Not your father's Buena Vista geezers, Orishas, Cuba's star hip-hoppers, will perform their own concert in Miami on Sunday (they were scheduled to play the Soulfrito Festival, now moved to Nov. 20)."

Músico cubano X Alfonso en Feria Discográfica berlinesa  9/18/2005 Jiribilla 

Assata - Rap Icons Godmother Still Gaining Support  8/25/2005 Thug Life Army: "Dear Mayor Palmer: Let me introduce myself by saying that ASSATA SHAKUR is my sister, friend, and comrade in the struggle for human rights of all oppressed people. When three “Freedom Fighters” boldly took action in 1979 and entered the Clinton Correctional Facility and liberated Sister ASSATA from the chains and shackles of her jailers, I rejoiced. I was proud to be apart of a generation of young African Americans that were courageous and committed enough to go up against America and didn’t give a damn about odds."

Rap Icons Godmother Target of Amendment  6/18/2005 Thug Life Army: "Many prominent and influential politicians, hip-hop and rap artists and community groups have stepped forward to show support for Assata and her struggle. There is an attempt to further the kidnapping of Tupac’s godmother and political activist Assata Shakur. We received the following from a member of the Congressional Black Caucus today."

Hip-Hop Artist Get Involved For Assata  5/24/2005 Thug Life Army: "On Wednesday, May 25th at 1:30PM, Brooklyn City Councilmember Charles Barron, prominent hip-hop artists and community groups will hold a press conference on the steps of City Hall condemning a one-million-dollar bounty offered May 2nd for the capture of exiled Black Liberation fighter Assata Shakur; the godmother of the late rap icon Tupac Shakur. “I’m infuriated that a bounty has been put on her, placing her in danger,” said Councilmember Barron – who called for Wednesday’s press conference – “She is a shero to our community, its long overdue for her to receive clemency and come home.” "

Castro Speaks on Rap Icon's Godmother  5/11/2005 AP: "On Tuesday, he referred to Bush as "the little Hitler" and suggested he wanted to dominate the world. Castro dedicated more than an hour to reading for Cubans a New York Times story about the Posada case and again listed numerous terrorist actions that that Cuban officials attribute to Posada or his associates. He even suggested that Posada and his friend Orlando Bosch might have ties to the 1963 assassination of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy. "There are strange things, very strange, mixed up here," Castro said."

New Campaign For Rap Icon's Godmother  5/6/2005 Thug Life Army: "The following information is provided by The Talking Drum Collective of Stone Mountain, Ga. The Hands Off Assata Campaign is a coming together of organizations and individuals who are outraged by the heightened attempts by the federal government, congress of the united states and the State of New Jersey to illegally force thru kidnapping a return of Assata Shakur from Cuba to the plantation United States…"

Arranca el festival de rap  11/7/2004 AP: "Después de casi tres meses de postergaciones, se inauguró esta semana aquí el décimo festival anual del controvertido rap cubano, en que participan una treintena de grupos locales y dos extranjeros. Casi sin promoción en la prensa nacional, el concierto inaugural del jueves se realizó en un escenario sin decorado, con escasas luces y variados problemas de sonido que motivaron protestas de los jóvenes asistentes al teatro Alamar."

Mujeres de Hip-Hop Cubana  11/5/2004 Nubian Sisters: nice photo gallery

Cuban Hip-Hop Reaches Crossroads  10/5/2004 AP 

Hip-hop: de estilo a género  8/7/2004 Jiribilla: "El hip hop tiene valores para establecerse como una nueva expresión del nuevo milenio de la música popular cubana. Se dice que ningún género tiene una permanencia mayor a los cuarenta años, pero considero que este, que lleva ya diez, va por un buen camino. Siempre habrá hojarasca que se pierda y valores que permanecerán; estos, al final, definirán el género."

Una mirada sociopsicológica al rap en Cuba  8/7/2004 Jiribilla 

For American author, music tells tale  7/19/2004 Miami Herald: "But for those who are unfamiliar with Cuba's daily grind, the book will deliver lyrical insight into the potential for music, especially hip-hop, to confront the inequalities and discrimination on the island. Robinson based his book on just nine short visits to the island. He was simultaneously on assignment for The Washington Post, originally covering a story on the post-Buena Vista Social Club brouhaha…"

Hip-hop not getting bad rap in Cuba - Some surprised by government's support of counterculture artists  7/10/2004 Dallas Morning News: "Take the case of Rodolfo Rensoli, 38, organizer of the first Cuban rap festival in 1995. His festival became an annual event. He continued promoting it until 2000, thinking the music could help change Cuban society. But the following year, he said, he was forced out by inept people who had more conservative views. "There are a lot of people who don't understand people like me," said Mr. Rensoli, founding member of a popular rap group, Grupo Uno."

Two Cuban Rap Groups Present Video against Drugs  4/2/2004 Cubarte Newsletter: "Cuban Rap has been one of the most spectacular phenomena in Ibero-American music, since with little less than 10 years in the scene, Cuban hip-hoppers earned a Grammy Award (Orishas, for the album Emigrante), and nomination Equis Alfonso for Equis-Moré."

All Female Hip-Hop Concert To Rock Cuba  12/15/2003 CubaNet: "Cuba will play host to the first all women's hip-hop concert this month, the first such event to take place on the island. The concert, titled "Proven Presence" will feature Cuban rappers Esencia, Oye Habana, Maryoris, Las positivas and Las crudas. The event, which kicks off at 5:00 pm on December 17, will take place at Covarrubias Hall of the National Theater."

Hip-Hop Fridays: Hip Hop A Lo Cubano by Katie Millbauer  10/31/2003 Black Electorate 

Hip Hop in Havana  9/9/2003 Radio Progresso: "In spite of the August heat in the Cuban capital, rap fans were all over the 9th annual Havana 2003 Hip Hop Festival. The event was held in several of the city’s theaters with the participation of 60 groups – 40 locals and 20 from abroad. The Unites States, Colombia, Canada, Mexico, Italy, United Kingdom and Switzerland were the invited countries. Speaking of local groups, there are so many that some critics claim that there are 400 of them, and others say that Cuban hip hop groups number more than 1,000. Some are known internationally, like Orishas, and others are very popular locally, like Free Holes Negros, Eddy K – who is well known for his theme song written for a popular weekly TV program, “The Other Geography”. There are newer groups that are gaining followers such as Primera Base, Alto Voltaje, and Obsesión, who recently toured the U.S. The Ministry of Culture has created an organization to promote the rappers, the Cuban Rap Agency, that even has its own recording label, Asere Productions. The new hip hop magazine, Movimiento, was launched during the festival. Also presented during the event were DJ demonstrations by representatives from the U.S. and Great Britain, debates on graffiti, fanzines and films, among them 8 Miles, about American rapper Eminem."

Amulatao, aplatanao, cubaneao  8/19/2003 Jiribilla: "A no dudarlo, dentro y fuera de la Isla, el rap se ha convertido en una expresión musical autónoma, con personalidad propia, aunque en algunas de sus principales vertientes se convierta en tributaria del complejo rítmico caribeño. El octavo Festival así lo ha corroborado."

Havana's International Rap Festival Opens  8/12/2003 Radio Havana 

The Roots, Common,Kanye Unite With Cuban Rap  5/30/2003 All Hip Hop: "The Roots, Common, Tony Touch, Soul Live, J-Live, Kanye West and others plan to convene with several Cuban hip-hop artists in an effort to push cultural exchange at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. On June 9, the American artists will meld talents with Cuba’s finest like Doble Filo and Obsesion "

Thursday concerts to resume at NJPAC  5/30/2003 Star Ledger, NJ: "July 10, 4:30 p.m. -- Raices Habaneras, Afro-Cuban rumba; Somi, soul; Iqua Colson, jazz; DJ Hard Hittin' Harry, hip-hop."

The rap on Cuba coming to town to play Hip Hop Exchange/Miami  5/18/2003 Miami Herald 

Rap Under Attack  2/28/2003 Black World Today]: "The attack on rap, which many of those at the press conference view as an attempt to minimize their opportunities, is nothing new in the industry, according to Harry Allen, whose nom de guerre is the "media assassin." "Attack is now standard procedure," he began. "You get used to it; it's like background noise. The attack is multi-pronged and in many ways is an extension of the general attack on Black males." Popular DJ Ed Lover amplified Allen's remarks, adding that the independent record producers, some rap artists, and a few members of the alternative media are united in their stand against the attack, particularly the mainstream media and the ravings of Bill O'Reilly of the Fox Channel. "We know what you're doing," he blasted, referring to the mainstream media, "and you're not going to get away with it. We got each other's backs and we are determined to control our own destiny." When asked about the police surveillance that is detailed in an article in the latest The Source magazine, Mays said that they were doing further research and that they hoped to elaborate on what had been disclosed about a unit within the NYPD set up to watch hip hop culture." COINTELPRO.

Censorship against young poets and rap artists  12/13/2002 Cubanet: "Following the Hip Hop Festival held in Havana in August, the Casa de Cultura in Alamar received an order from the Ministry of Culture to review the lyrics of rap songs before the start of any concert. "This is a preventative measure to avoid any act of disobedience not in accord with our revolutionary process," the director of the center said to justify the measure. According to the comments of a city cultural official, the finale of the Hip Hop Festival was planned for La Piragua, an open-air, central location in Vedado, but due to the coverage by the foreign press and their reaction in the face of certain openly critical texts, it was cancelled and moved at the last minute to the amphitheater in Alamar… Poets, painters, musicians, performers, troubadors, the majority under 35 years of age, have converted an area far from the cultural circuit and center of Havana--and where daily life is pure tedium in one of the worst architectural contexts in Havana--into a center boiling with creativity. Nevertheless, the artists are starting to be concerned. In the opinion of many of them, a new policy of censorship and exclusion is being conducted by the municipal Casa de la Cultura, the provincial board of community culture and the Ministry of Culture." Cubanet is a Miami Mafia site, and the government response it portrays would be a knee jerk reaction to the articles in Washington Times, Miami Herald and others about Rap in Cuba being a dissident activity. Note also, in true right wing Cuban fashion, the complete lack of context expressed in this article, not even the word black or afrocuban is used.

Cuban hip-hop: The rebellion within the revolution  11/25/2002 CNN: "A rebellion has taken root in Cuba, nourished by a stifling trade embargo, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and racial inequality. But these rebels use lyrics, not guns, and they dance instead of march. Hip-hop is the rebellion within the revolution. Its soldiers are Cuban rappers, (raperos). Their missions are poverty and racism."

Cuba's rap revolution: Tough times inspire musical commentary  11/4/2002 Seattle Times: "With the average Cuban peso salary about $15 U.S. a month, it's tempting for those without dollar-paying jobs to spend their time hustling for handouts instead. And those jobs — in hotels, state-run taxis or as licensed operators of restaurants and guesthouses — have proved elusive for Afro-Cubans."

Cuba: el rap llegó para quedarse  8/19/2002 BBC: "El VIII Festival de Rap, "Habana Hip-Hop 2002", llegó a su fin después de una semana en la que compartieron los escenarios grupos de Cuba, Estados Unidos, México, Venezuela, Canadá y Noruega. El público acudió de forma masiva, demostrando que el rap llegó a Cuba para quedarse porque representa el sentir de una gran masa de jóvenes de los barrios más humildes de la isla que, musicalmente hablando, estaban sin voz."

Cuban rappers show rare outspokenness about the nation  8/18/2002 Miami Herald: ''Police, police you are not my friend,'' 18-year-old Humberto Cabrera, a soloist known as Papa Humbertico, sang as the eighth annual rap festival got under way last week. ``For Cuban youth, you are the worst nightmare . . . you are the criminal . . . I detest you.''

Cuba Hosts First Rap Festival  8/16/2002 AP: actually, it is the 8th or the 9th…

EIGHTH CUBAN RAP FESTIVAL HEATS UP IN HAVANA  8/15/2002 Radio Havana: "The 8th Cuban Rap Festival got off to a roaring musical start here in Havana last night as thousands of spectators excitedly welcomed the hosts of the first rap concert - the Cuban husband and wife group Obsesión. Obsesión brought on a slew of other Cuban and foreign musicians in a medley that was fast and furious mix of rap, rumba and many other rhythms. Hip Hop fans filled the Teatro America in downtown Havana for what organizers say is the only Rap Festival in the world that is officially sponsored by their government. More than 60 Cuban and foreign groups will be performing through Sunday in theatres in the city as well as in the suburb of Alamar, which is the place where Cuban rap was born, many of last night's audience coming from there. Groups include Mexico's "Boco Floja" which translates as "Loose Mouth", the famous US group "Mos Def", and Cuban favorites "Anónimo Consejo" or "Anonymous Advice" and "Obsesión". The festival has also included colloquiums on the history and direction of the hip hop movement in Cuba. It will end with a final Sunday evening concert along the famous seafront Malecón in Havana."

Debaten acerca de la realidad cubana actual en evento de rap  8/14/2002 AIN: "Abel Prieto, ministro de cultura, señaló hoy que muchos de los programas actuales de la Revolución tienen entre sus objetivos erradicar los vestigios de segregación racial que algunos individuos insisten en perpetuar en nuestra sociedad. La intervención del dirigente tuvo lugar durante la jornada de clausura del coloquio previo al VIII Festival Nacional de Rap Habana Hip Hop 2002, encuentro organizado por la Asociación Hermanos Saíz (AHS) y que desde el pasado lunes sesionó en el Museo de la Música… Finalizando la cita teórica, Abel Prieto anunció que el día 31 de este mes se inaugurará la Agencia de Rap, institución que difundirá esta manifestación artística en el ámbito nacional y extranjero, y que contará además con su propio sello discográfico."

The Roots, ganador de un Grammy a festivald de Rap en Cuba  8/7/2002 Prensa Latina: "The Roots, grupo de Hip-Hop estadounidense ganador de una Grammy, actuará en el Festival Nacional de Rap que se celebrará en Cuba del 12 y hasta el 18 de agosto, con la asistencia de 72 bandas de cinco países."

RAP CUBANO  8/1/2002 Jiribilla: "Mis observaciones se basan en las investigaciones que he realizado desde 1999 dentro de las comunidades de rap de La Habana y Santiago de Cuba como parte de mi tesis de doctorado en antropología de la Universidad de Texas en Austin."

Rap en Cuba: ALTAS EXPECTATIVAS  8/1/2002 Jiribilla: "El rap contiene una lírica potente que habla de las cosas de la calle. Es una estética callejera que se acerca a la poesía de manera diversa", opina Rodolfo Rensoli, uno de los principales promotores y teóricos del rap en Cuba."

HORA DE ABRIR LOS OJOS... ¡EL RAP CUBANO EXISTE!  8/1/2002 Jiribilla 

Rap cubano: Con la manga hasta el codo  8/1/2002 Jiribilla: "—¿Cuáles son las razones que han motivado la gran cobertura que ha tenido el recién finalizado Habana Hip Hop en medios de prensa internacionales? —El rap en el mundo entero, y sobre todo en Estados Unidos, es una cultura de resistencia. Es un género que aborda candentes temas sociales. En el caso específico de nuestro festival, está claro que algunos periodistas asistieron a él en busca de los puntos oscuros. Se le ha dado cobertura para satisfacer ese tipo de expectativa tendenciosa que suelen usar algunos periódicos extranjeros cuando se refieren a la realidad cubana."

Cuban Hip-Hoppers' International Vibes  7/14/2002 Newsday: "When the Cuban rappers known as Orishas released their first album, "A lo Cubano," in 2000, it broke new ground in the loosely defined category of Latin hip-hop. By insisting on incorporating basic Afro-Cuban elements such as cha cha, bolero, son and guaguancó, Orishas was redefining hip-hop from a Latin music perspective. As Roldán, who sings in the traditional Cuban style for Orishas, said during the group's first U.S. tour, it was time to dispense with slavish imitation of North American hip-hop. It was time for rap a lo cubano, Cuban-style."

Choream y los tiempos danzarios del hip hop  6/6/2002 Granma: Havana: "Entre los creadores a la vanguardia del movimiento hip-hop internacional no puede faltar el nombre de Choream, compañía francesa de danza contemporánea que se presentará en función única el sábado 8 (8:30 p.m.) en el Teatro Mella."

Hip-hop in Cuba: creating a revolution  4/1/2002 Cuba Absolutely: "Pablo Herrera, the producer who can make them—who already made Orishas, the first popular Cuban rap group—is in the DJ's room looking down. "What you're seeing is Cuba's underground. I'm talking the empowerment of youth as a battle spear for a more conscious society," he says in English so flawless that he's sure he lived another life in Brooklyn. And he looks it—from the braids in his hair down to the New York attitude."

Asian Dub in Havana  3/8/2002 BBC: "The UK's Asian Dub Foundation will perform in Havana, Cuba, on Saturday at the invitation of the Cuban culture ministry and The British Council. The bands have made a speciality of fusing rock and rap with Indian music and overt political statements. Born in the UK, but of Indian and Bangladeshi descent, the members of the group began performing in 1993. The band will appear in Havana alongside Cuban groups Sintesis and Equis Alfonso."

Young Cubans turn to hip-hop  2/16/2002 Washington Times: from the Reverend Sun Yung Moon's conservative paper in DC, with a predictable spin.

Meet the new pioneers of hip-hop music  12/16/2001 Sun Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale: "The rappers say they have the freedom to criticize their island's ills but they do it constructively. At concerts, some rap about the crowded buses, racial discrimination and the growing disparity due to a dual economy. However, access to government-controlled radio and television stations is still touch and go… "A few years ago it was unimaginable to think we were going to insert ourselves in shows with all other kinds of music, that the minister of culture would listen to us, that we would be in a millennium festival called by Fidel," he said. "The thing is not to say there are problems, but to say there are problems and this is how we can fix them. It's about having the courage to say, `open your eyes, there are things that are bad.' That's being a true revolutionary." "

RAP CUBANO  8/1/2001 La Jiribilla, Cuba: photo gallery


Links/Enlaces

WHAT IS CUBAN HIP HOP?
www.beautifulmes.com/hip_hop.html

Agencia Cubana de Rap

Festival Nacional de Rap Cubano 2001

Festival Nacional de Rap Cubano ~ 1999: 5th edition "Swing"

 

EL TRATAMIENTO DEL TEMA NEGRO EN EL RAP  8/1/2002 Jiribilla: por Tomás Fernández Robaina

 

Grupos Portadores

Instinto

Obsesión

 

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