Las Krudas Continue Being Cuba

February 7, 2013 | Print Print |

Sandra Alvarez*  

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Krudas Cubansi. photo: Olivia Kruda Prendes.

HAVANA TIMES — When the openly-lesbian hip-hop duo “Las Krudas” participated in a January 2012 panel discussion on the body along with June Fernandez I starting writing a few lines, but I never finished.

Back then I believed it could have been problematic to continue that post. My role as the organizer of that meeting (which took place in the Villena Room of UNEAC) made me feel too close to it all.

I decided to keep my thoughts to myself, as if nothing had happened, despite believing that approaching an issue as daring and sound as these other variants of feminism might not be possible in our country for a good while.

Among other reasons, this is because there are few of us involved in radical feminist discussions about the body, politics and eroticism. The prevailing discourse is constructed and established by the patriarchy, which leaves out women who are lesbians, fat, black, etc.

Concerning what happened on Saturday, January 12, at the home of Esther Gaia, located in the heart of the Old Havana, I didn’t miss the opportunity to reflect on it, regardless of how involved I was (or wasn’t) in the promotion of the event: a live performance by the group Krudas Cubensi.

Like I told someone a few days ago, “Krudas are so revolutionary that they had to emigrate.” Since then, every return by the singers Pelusa and Pasita has brought us several songs full of the experiences of being two lesbian feminist rappers from “the musical island” and survivor-dissidents of the air-brushed images of Cuban hip hop.

Their songs — which deal with the lives of women who “like papayas,” as well as physical and intellectual freedom, love, and emigration, etc. — are mixed with irremediable desires to enjoy and dance.

Their songs — which deal with the lives of women who “like papayas,” as well as physical and intellectual freedom, love, and emigration, etc. — are mixed with irremediable desires to enjoy and dance.

A long time ago Las Krudas stopped their moaning, groaning and rivalries, which was a necessary stage in a Cuban rap movement in which women were (are) made invisible and where misogyny built up into a wave (and still does, by the way).

Now these rappers — Cuban and global at the same time — have found and are constructing a positive path that leads to the enjoyment of their own existences and ours. As they themselves say: “No to victimization.” The result is an argument that’s profoundly rebellious, inclusive, and progressive and…unparalleled (at least in this country).

Rhythmically, what currently stands out in the beats that back up Las Krudas’s lyrics are the presence of Latin American genres such as cumbia. Likewise, their experiences in touring various venues in the United States, as well as their visit to Mexico for example, have left imprints on their current compositions.

Notwithstanding, they remain our Krudas Cubensi because they continue the songs of those of African descent and of Afro-Cuban religions, as well as those of our mothers. They remain Cuban, above all, given the possibility of their returning every year to the island of their lives to rap to us from their fallopian tubes.
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(*) Read Sandra Alvarez’s blog in Spanish.

 


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