Havana, to the Rhythm of Hip-Hop

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – Hip-hop or rap, born in the 70’s in the black and Latin neighborhoods of New York, was reaffirmed as a strong music movement in Cuba where it coexists with the most popular genres such as salsa and son.

A representation of Cuban rappers of the more than 1,000 groups throughout the Island, are heard in several spots in Havana this week during the ninth edition of the Havana Hip-Hop Festival, where 73 bands, 53 local and 20 foreign are taking part.

The Hermanos Saíz Association (AHS) organized this international festival with groups, DJs, break-dance dancers and graffiti artists -expression always linked to rap from its early stages- coming from the US, Canada, Great Britain, Colombia, Mexico, Switzerland and Brazil. AHS President Alpidio Alonso recently stated that Cuban rap “has more to do with our reality and has won identity in the lyrics as well as the music.”

They have a face -he stated -, their own profile, and, consequently, they reflect the problems of our youth, their dreams and concerns.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.