“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.
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.
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.