A Perfect Storm: Broadcasting Rhythms from the South Bronx to the East of Havana

From the rhyming styles of breakbeat poets and Bronx backyard jams of the 1980s, hip-hop sprang forth from the heart of urban black culture to give voice to the silenced narratives of black communities. The rhythm of resistance. Uncontainable, the sound waves traveled much farther than the national border. In the 1990s, young Cubans living in the barrio of Alamar resonated with the rhythms and attitude in the music and adopted the art form as their own. Moving through this rich oral history and into the present, we will hear the way hip-hop brought these two cultures together in a perfect storm.

Thank you to Luna Gallegos, Laura Cantana, Rolando Almirante, Dr. Cecil Brown, Jeff Chang, “The Wizard”/ “El Brujo,” Yulier, La Rafa El Individuo, and Alejandra Zamora for your honesty and warmth throughout the interview process.

Producer: Nya Hughes

The Message – Grandmaster Flash
Get By – Talib Kweli
Latino & Proud – DJ Raff
Tengo – Hermanos De Causa
Mi Raza – El Individuo
The Bronx in The 1980’s PART 1 (Original)
CHUPI CHUPI – Osmani Garcia

Photo by Nya Hughes