Monday, March 1, 2010

LatiNegr@s Project: Women's Herstory Month: Magia

As I shared with you yesterday, the LatiNegr@s Project is still in full effect because it is a year round endeavor! Today begins Women's Herstory Month (WHM) and I'd like to introduce to you one of my favorite female MCs: Magia of the group Obsesion y La Fabri_k.

I've seen her perform at least two times in the past decade and it is always a huge treat. I was able to purchase Obsesion's first album Un Monton De Cosas in Cuba on the first trip I took 9 years ago. Here's the foto I took the last time I saw her perform:

She is one of the first Afra-Cubana MCs and began the group Obsesion with her partner Alexie, they have since also formed a new "crew" called La Fabri_k whose goal is to "La Fábri K es un colectivo interdisciplinario que aúna a raperos, gente del mundo del teatro y otras artes para trabajar de forma autónoma en proyectos sociales en los barrios y periferias de La Habana, Cuba/ La Fabri_K is a collective of independent artists who, in a creative way, articulate projects designed to stimulate artistic development with social repercussions, through the revolutionary art of Hip Hop. In this way, they promote the true essence of this culture working with the original Hip Hop ideas, which have been distorted by the cultural and fashion industry." Here's a clip from the film trailer about the new crew as well as a few clips from the film (with English subtitles):

Last year I wrote a list of the Top Anti-Love songs and Magia's song "Te Equivocas" was on that list. It is not so much against love as it is against violence and more about self-love for mujeres. Some of her lyrics from that song have been translated and I share them with you as the have been republished from the book Cuba Represent!: Cuban Arts, State Power, and the Making of New Revolutionary Cultures, by Sujatha Fernandes (pp. 109 - 117) from this site:

Magia derides an ex-lover who has mistreated her and she asserts her rights to her body and her sexuality. Magia tells her ex-lover that he is no longer welcome in her life, she is not the weak and dependent girl that he thinks she is: "You are wrong to tell me I would die to kiss your mouth." Magia attacks the machismo and egoism of her ex-lover: "With egoism made machismo, you yourself fell into an immense abyss of false manhood." Magia demonstrates that the myths created by her ex-lover about his virility and manhood are false. He is not worth even one-thousandth of all she has gone through for him and he has denied her happiness. She tells him that she will no longer be used by him: "I have finished being your toy." This kind of assertion of female agency has a history in black popular culture, which dates back to American blues women and Cuban rumba. Women rap artists continue this legacy of negotiating sexuality and power with their lovers and asserting their presence as sexual beings, not objects.

You may hear her perform Niche

Here Obsesion is performing Los Pelos. I totally dig that Magia is painting the face of a doll Black. For those of you who don't follow Spanish well, she's talking about Hair, African identity, beauty, survival.

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