Track after music, Cuban artist Danay Suárez’s album Polvo de la Humedad is a nicely executed hip hop and reggae album. Together with her grave rapping voice, soulful singing voice, and nuanced rhythms, she mesmerizes with the sincerity of perfected expression. That is sincerity we count on in modern reggae music however now not count on a lot of in hip hop.
Polvo de la Humedad sounds sultry and mawkish all through. “Intro” is an attractive begin to the rest of the album. She sings us a sluggish, intimate music, together with thrilling background vocals. The music’s piano is easy however accompanies her nicely, and the identical could be mentioned for the drumming.
The album continues on “Esta Guerra Tan Violenta,” a reggae music. Its guitar provides a fascinating contact, and so do moments of drumming. Listening to her state “entre mi vida y tu sistema” (“between my life and your system”) will shock any Spanish talking listener. Is she protesting in favor of or in opposition to Cuban Communism?
“Flores” is one other reggae music with stunning lyrics. The road that surprises essentially the most is her singing “resistencia […] es mi posición” (“resistance is my place”). What’s she resisting in opposition to? Is she singing lyrics to match the truth that reggae songs are supposed to be songs of social and political battle?
“Yo…” is a music that reminds us of hip hop that was produced in New York through the Nineteen Nineties—Large L, Massive Professor, Jay Z, DJ Premier. It’s onerous to think about this music as Caribbean, however “Yo…” hits within the intestine sufficient to encourage ideas in regards to the social situations that gasoline this music, not that it’s Cuban appropriation. Like a lot of hip hop, it’s a music about “I,” although this “I” is far grittier and appears to be the product of extra introspection than in most of latest hip hop.
Her circulate as she raps on “Fantasma” is hanging. “Música Del Corazón,” nonetheless, is her greatest efficiency on the album. She raps to us superbly, letting her soulful singing voice out. There is no such thing as a posing on Suárez’s half; she wears no masks of realness or hardness.
Hip hop in Cuba is promoted by a Cuban Rap Company. The Company’s file label La Fabri-Okay (which Suárez is just not signed to) was the primary to advertise her music. The Company both nonetheless publishes, or as soon as printed, a journal, Movimiento. I seemed for a replica for some perception into Cuban hip hop thought and located the third problem on-line, which I translated from Spanish. Hip hop was outlined within the journal as a well-liked phenomenon, African-American tradition, instigated by Cuban socioeconomics. The Company’s plan is to nationalize it, particularly by including Cuban instrumentation. Suárez’s sound appears to be the right model of this nationalization.
“Directo Al Alma” is an unforgettable love music. It appears to be an expression of affection as felt by the youth in Cuba’s poor and middle-class neighborhoods, the place hip hop can be a pure idiom for expressing love. It’s the album’s greatest music.
If Suárez is protesting in opposition to Cuban Communism with a few of these songs, I’m wondering how harmful it’s for her to be releasing such ambiguous lyrics? The Cuban authorities has at all times sided with ideology over freedom of expression, nonetheless lovely these expressions could also be. If it weren’t for the patronage and braveness of Haydée Santamaría Cuadrado, a now deceased Cuban Communist dignitary who butted heads with Fidel Castro to guard artists, the Nuevo Trova music—now emblematic of the Cuban Communist revolution—would have been silenced. I hope that Danay is just not in hurt’s means.