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With Lyrics Like ‘Afro, Afro, Afrodescendiente Es Mi Raza’ This Rap Song Will Fill Afro-Latinos With Pride

09/12/17 Walter Thompson-Hernandez

“Afro desendiente, mi raza. Si quieres subrayalo en mi expediente.”

Afro-Cuban rapper, El Individuo, is the island’s latest music sensation. Following in the footsteps of pioneering Afro-Cuban rappers like Alexey and Magia, from the rap group, Obsesión, “Mi Raza,” is a bold (and successful) attempt to reconnect the experiences of Afro-Cubans with afro-desciendentes around the world.

As part of a larger compilation album titled, Afro-Razones, created by a group of Cuban and United States-based artists and producers, “Mi Raza,” emerges at a time when the lives of afro-descendants on the island remain in question following the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

photo by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi

By invoking both historical and contemporary nods to the Black Lives Matter movement and U.S. Civil Rights leaders like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., El Individio, and his group, Con100Cia, aim to link a legacy of Afro-Cuban-U.S. black solidarity that dates back to the early 19th century.

photo by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi

The video, directed by, Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, is a visual representation of Afro-Cuban heritage that includes Afro-Cuban Santeria imagery infused with lyrics that consistently state, “I’m an Afro, Afro, Afro-Descendant.”

While El Individuo is not the first Afro-Cuban rapper to connect the racial experiences of Afro-Cubans to Afro-descendants in the U.S., his song comes at a time when U.S.-Cuban relations are set to experience yet another impending shift with President Donald Trump’s recent U.S.-Cuban policy recommendations.

More on El Individuo and his music can be found here.

READ: Ibeyi: Afro-Cuban Electro via Paris

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