Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. Our show is special because we make it our priority to go where the silence is. We put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. Today a generous funder will match your donation 2 to 1. That means when you give $15 today, your donation will be worth $45. So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to help make sure Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else.

Your Donation: $
Friday, April 7, 2000 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES
2000-04-07

Busting the Embargo: The Growing Bridge Between Hip-Hop in Cuba and the U.S.

download:   Get CD/DVD More Formats
This is viewer supported news

As tensions increase between the U.S. and Cuba over the fate of Cuba shipwreck Elian Gonzalez, today we are going to take a look at embargo-busting by a growing hip-hop movement in the U.S. and Cuba. The 40-year old US-imposed blockade against Cuba has been one of the main culprits for shortages in the country, and the travel ban has stopped many Americans from visiting Cuba. But despite the embargo, relations between Cuban and American citizens have been flourishing in some areas. One of them is music.

Many people by now may have heard of The Buena Vista Social Club, a compilation of traditional Cuban music featuring some of Cuba’s finest musicians, including Compay Segundo and Ibrahim Ferrer, and put together by American musician Ry Cooder. It was also made into a successful film. But many may have not heard of Cuba’s budding hip- hop artists, whose music is beginning to reach audiences outside Cuba.

About five years ago, a group of rap artists and producers in the U.S. and Cuba organized a rap festival that has become known as "Black August." It is a two-city concert, taking place in New York and Havana that brings together hip-hop artists from both countries. It is a celebration of hip-hop as a revolutionary cultural art form, a forum for artists to address issues such as racism, police brutality and political prisoners. And the first U.S.-produced compilation of Cuban hip-hop is now in the making.

Guests:

  • Kofi Taha, U.S. organizer of Black August, the Cuban hip-hop festival, and writer on hip-hop. Call Black August: 212.741.7100 x-215.
  • Miguel Carlos, record producer in New York who has put together the first compilation of Cuban rap called "Cuban Hip-Hop All Stars." He cannot be identified by his real name, because he fears prosecution for breaking the Helms-Burton law.
  • Pablo Herrera, Cuban hip-hop producer, poet and linguist from Havana.
  • Julio Cardenas, rapper from the group RCA (Raperos Crazy Alamar). Speaking from Alamar, just outside Havana. He is joined by his MC Yohan.
  • Kokino, rapper from the group "Anonimo Consejo" (Anonymous Advice). Speaking from Havana.
  • Raquel Rivera, Journalist who writes about hip-hop and is a participant in the Black August project.

Related links:


Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

This is viewer supported news