In a time when black people globally are trudging through questions of diaspora and belonging comes a multimedia project that aims to use the transformative potential of hip-hop to confront themes of representation, accessibility and even technology. AfroRazones – a space for Afro-Cuban expression, archiving a Cuban manifestation of Black resistance in 2017 – was born last year inside DJ Jigüe‘s Guampara Studios in Havana, Cuba, and was nurtured by a team of Cuban and U.S.-based artists and organizers (including LPZ who produces for Cuban hip-hop luminaries, Danay Suarez and Los Aldeanos) that recognized the impending changes of the current sociopolitical transitions and diplomatic relations at play.
On April 28, 2017, the project’s compilation album featuring a bevy of Afro-Cuban rappers and folkloric singers – 13 hip-hop and R&B artists, five producers and five instrumentalists – will debut on Spotify, Apple Music and TIDAL. The 12-track LP was crafted from start to finish with the idea of resistance while exploring today’s Afro-Cuban identity.
“During the album’s creation, it was hard to ignore questions of access to technology and how it affects music. In March 2017, Cuban and U.S.-based artists came together to facilitate art workshops around music promotion, social media and Internet,” said a statement from the project’s website. “As we develop automation and fall deeper into social media algorithms, some of us become less human and more robotic. But some of us don’t. Through working groups and transnational collaborations, AfroRazones seeks to confront issues of Internet accessibility and literacy. As our world becomes more post-human, AfroRazones acts as a reminder to the music and community that connects us.”
Take an exclusive look at the AfroRazones trailer (above), and then spin the album’s lead single below.