I can't really explain all that I experienced in Cuba because the evolution that has since culminated within me has ultimately transformed who I am. Nonetheless, I am a better person because of this trip. I learned so much about people, about the history of Cuba, about Hip-Hop's history on the island, the culture, the economic state, etc. I'm most excited to speak on the people I met and how they've influenced me.
Brebaje Man and Miki Flow. Legendary artists out of Cuba. They're very much like the Wu-Tang of Cuba. They've been around since the 90s. Their flows are so hype and so intricate. I spent everyday with these brothers. Miki was very much my guide while I was in Cuba. Etian "Brebaje Man" was my road dog. We connected on another level. These are REALLY my brothers and I mean that with all of my heart. They really held me down. So much support & positive energy. Thank you both!!
Miki Flow rockin' at the 2010 Hip-Hop Symposium (a five day festival of performances, workshops, film screenings, and connecting). Explosion Suprema hosted one of the nights at El Teatro Riviera which ended up being one of my favorite nights. Mainly because each artist was on point...back 2 back 2 back.
Brebaje Man backing up Miki from off-stage. By the time he came on, the audience went crazy. I got on to perform right after! The crowd showed so much love. Got it all on video!!
En Micro X, Alamar with my homies. Micro X is very much like The Bronx was during the 1960s! It was unreal. The buildings, the graffiti...the community. Everybody's door was open as people would come in and out. Everybody showed each other love. Cuba is another world entirely.
Miki's mother and his daughter.
I was really happy that I got to build with Alexey de Obsesion. Such an intelligent, humble, and hard working brother. After building for a few days backstage at the Symposium, he invited me to come through his crib. There, we recorded a new track with Antony of Egypt (Dope MC from Canada) and Ali Deheshi (Awesome artist from Iran). Hoping to put it on this next album.
This was the view outside of Alexey's studio.
My 2 favorite DJs in Cuba!!!!
La Real & Indiana. Two beautiful and talented artists. I got to build with them during my time in Cuba. After recording "Amistad" with Explosion Suprema, I got them to sing on it. Their voices sound incredible. "Amistad" is DEF gonna be on the new album. Keep a heads up. Even got a music video for it. : )
Indiana snuck this pic on me. I love it. I was actually waiting on line for a pizza. Super hungry! Hahaha...
David: Amazing poet, MC, painter, producer, father, and overall person. So deep and spiritual. Loved kickin' it with him.
I had these kids begging me for this photo for days. Buggin' my homie David's crib like crazy. So funny! (They eventually got it!!!) If you're interested in seeing more pics, I got more on my facebook. CLICK HERE TO CHECK THEM OUT
After visiting Cuba, I have to say...I have a lot to think about. Alotta times, people speak negatively about it because of its post-revolution economic situation and/or the events that have taken place since the revolution but the truth is, it has remained completely independent since the falling of Russia. Even then, I did not see ONE homeless person. And I didn't see people dying of hunger. Given...you don't eat like a king in Cuba but that raises the question...do you really need to? Everyone gets by but what makes them want more is the taunting luxuries of capitalism. The extra clothes, the flat screen tv...the EXTRA. In Cuba, everyone has a place to live and is not allowed to be kicked out. That's their home. They get free medical and receive free education. There is no real access to the internet and few people have phones, but that is why Cubans are so animated and fun to be around. They are storytellers. Yo pienso que "Cuba y Puerto Rico son las dos alas del mismo pajaro." (Cuba and Puerto Rico are the 2 wings of the same bird.)
Cuba, I will miss you! Siempre libre! Much love! Thank you for everything.
P.S. Thank you Mariana for making miracles happen!