Enciéndete: 9 exciting new Latin rap songs
Latinos have a rich tradition when it comes to musical storytelling, melodic social commentary and protest songs. Nueva Cancion is one of the most recognizable examples: The folk-inspired and socially committed music shone a light through the dark, brutal Latin American ’60s and ’70s, during which much of the continent (and Spain) gasped for air in the grips of repressive dictatorships. Artists such as Ruben Blades, Silvio Rodriguez, Victor Jara, Chico Buarque and Mercedes Sosa gave voice and music to the oppressed. Many of them paid with exile (Buarque and Sosa left for Europe), and, in the case of artists like Jara, death at the hands of government officials.
In the last decade or so, I’ve been able to find that passion and thoughtfulness where I least expected it: hip-hop. I say “where I least expected it” because, by the time I came to the U.S. in 2002, English-language rap was fully incorporated into mainstream culture; while I loved the beats I heard on the radio and at clubs, as a newly arrived immigrant with financial struggles and a sense of cultural alienation, I found the themes of wealth, sex and conspicuous consumerism difficult to digest.
Read more at NPR