Cuban Hip Hop Crosses Borders

(Prensa Latina) 
Havana.- Cuban hip hop crossed borders, beyond circumstances and fashions,
while it counts on such experimentalists as singer-songwriter Equis Alfonso,
stated the local media.

On his new album Civilizacion, Alfonso, son and heir of the avant-garde
musicians who founded the band Sintesis, Latin Grammy nominees in 2002,
shows no prejudices to mix whatever he grabs to make any track a smash.The most characteristic feature of his work, a local reviewer stated, is the
support given to hip hop as a referent to approach the musical
representation of his time and the socio-cultural space he interacts with.
The best achievement, on the critic’s opinion, lies in the symbiosis of
rumba tradition and hip hop.

As opposed to the experimentalist, the local newspaper Juventud Rebelde also
comments the surfacing of a female rapper, La Fres-K, who launched her debut
album Cambio de profesion, titled after an experimental cross included in
the record.

Born in Guantanamo, the easternmost of Cuban provinces, she ended up in a
movement where women are a minority. Her fame is underpinned by the protest
and women-right fighter attitude she adopts.

One of the tracks included in the album, “Qué te creíste,” is evidence of an
independent spirit and an eloquent anti-macho pose, Juventud Rebelde stated.

However, in other songs, the feminine identity speech goes oversimplified.
It strays from the path of authenticity using slang, while the rhythm
atmosphere turns into nothing more than a folkloric appendix.

La Fres-K´s talent has been erroneously oriented to commercial exploitation
which categorizes hip hop in the topics of fashion, the chronicler stated.

However, Cuba continues a music reservoir capable of taking the wide variety
of universals tendencies in, he concluded.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.