Cuban Rapper Telmary

November 18, 2012 | Print Print |

A musical bridge from Cuba*

Osmel Almaguer

HAVANA TIMES — She’s a Cuban rapper who has transcended that genre’s mold to become a genuine phenomenon of “Cubania” and musicality.

Previously linked to the groups Free Hole Negro and Interactivo, Telmary has also maintained a solo career whose main fruit has been the album A Diario (2006).

On it she many of her friends participated, artists such as the Spanish group Ojos de Brujo and musicians Haydee Milanes, Athanai, Kumar, Mayito Rivera and Roberto Carcasses and Yusain the role of producers.

She has also participated on CDs by Francis del Rio, X Alfonso, Gema y Pavel, Aceituna sin huesos and others.

Among Cuban musicians, this “street poet” (as she describes herself) “represents the closest there is to being what is internationally referred to as a jazz-poet. In her lines, one feels that — along with a moyubba drum — she mixes in phrases in Spanglish as well as lightning fast elements and a type of verse that doesn’t focus on the rhyme for rhyme sake at all costs, but pursues a deeper poetry, one that is always saying something. Urban street issues are fundamental in her poetry.”

Es pa’ que vuelvas” (It’s so you come back)

CD: A Diario (2006)

And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so come back / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / And it’s not for you leave, it’s so you come back. / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / I don’t want all the good things that make me happy to leave. / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / I don’t want to wake up with flowers but without springtime.

When the agitated verb and my words are the sound of the river that doesn’t reach your sea. / They seem tired, they seem tired. / If there’s a change in your life, tell me. Start over again with the same relief when you wake up. / I suspect you’re leaving, I suspect you’re leaving.

And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s for you come back. / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / I don’t want all the good things that make me happy to leave. / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / I don’t want to wake up with flowers but without springtime.

If absence, the alert, the bed, the wait, seem small, don’t try to think. / I don’t believe in borders, I don’t believe in chimeras, solve the problem, I’m going to wait. / You know this black woman doesn’t stop my life, I can’t stop. Do you want to stop? / I prefer luck, looking into your eyes, forgetting the problems and rest in you.

And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / I don’t want all the good things that make me happy to leave. / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / I don’t want to wake up with flowers but without springtime.

I don’t want any more poetry or more theory, even though this has saved me up until one point / to where my body is crying out to you. / Your flesh, your skin, your body, mulatto, you know / you mark the time and I know when it is. / Everything that I’m saving, accumulating and don’t throw out I have saved so I can give it to you again. / What I want is to give myself to you again.

Chorus:

Give myself to you, give myself to you again.

Give myself to you, give myself to you again.

Give myself to you, give myself to you again.

Give myself to you, give myself to you again.

I want you close, close is how I want you. / Listen to the language of time away. / What’s pleasant turns against us. / It takes us and brings us we are her body. / Of hate, joy, happiness, feels. / Caress of back and forth. / Close is how I want you, not far, close.

And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back / I don’t want all the good that makes me happy to leave. / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back / And it’s not for you to leave, it’s so you come back. / I don’t want to wake up with and without spring flowers.

(Repeat).

When the agitated verb and my words are the river that doesn’t reach your sea. / I suspect you’re leaving, I suspect you’re leaving

How does one love a woman with her sandals well set on the pavement and her eyes slightly changed by successive trances into knowledge? What would the love be like of this sort of Caribbean matriarch?

Surely the same as all women; simple or sophisticated, educated or ignorant, with a conventional beauty or a rare one, with an intensively cultivated goodness or a budding one; you will feel a love that is universal and that transcends us.

However, if we return to that question and we consider the manner in which a woman like Telmary could express her feelings, then one only has to listen to this song and you will realize that the subject that’s loved acquires special proportions.

Her partner, who is also a Cuban musician, inspired this song by Telmary, in nothing more and nothing less than a phone booth. He doesn’t seem like a common subject of romantic songs, though in essence it deals with the same thing.

It’s that special shade of each person (meaning what’s particular to them), that spiritual path that each of us follow in our own way, the only one capable of giving birth to a song like this.

(*) A Musical Bridge from Cuba: This is an effort to find new bridges that promote communication between peoples of the diverse regions of the planet. I will be using simple narration in a series of articles to connect with those who are interested in the messages transmitted by Cuban songs, which due to their limited commercial potential and the difficulties posed by their translation, languish in a state of communicational stagnation – despite their being true jewels of Cuban culture.

 


What's your opinion?

  • Griffin

    I saw Telmary at the Lulu Lounge in Toronto. She’s a remarkably versatile musician, so much more than a “rapper” -although she can rap with the best of them, too. She also has the special gift of rapport with her audience, not simply “performing” songs, but sharing her music with her audience. If you ever get a chance, go see her live.

  • Milagros

    She is awesome and whenever possible no matter where she is if i can see her i do!
    In Cuba we love here Siempre