Wassup Rockers

Porque los pobres…

I watched this student film today called Todos Somos Guerreros, which is about Bolivian hip-hop. The students who made it are Eli Breitburg-Smith and Meredith Webb. It was pretty short but I was definitely impressed with the handful of people featured in there; I think they’re all from the same local hip-hop scene in El Alto (near La Paz). I really liked the music. It reminded me of Makiza, who have a similar vibe though I feel like their themes are a li’l different. Like Makiza even rap in French and shit; as Anita Tijoux says in one of the songs, “soy una trotamundos.” I feel like the music by the Bolivian artists is grounded locally, at least from this documentary. They’re all about bringing up their own communities and there was even one dude rapping in aymara. I was like, dude.

Also, one talking head totally namechecked Immortal Technique. I only found out about this guy a couple of months ago… when he showed up to talk to my class. And I was so impressed!! I just never got around to write a post about him. Seriously, one of the most well-read hip-hop artists I’ve encountered. Also, an incredibly intimidating dude. I mean he was very nice, had a great sense of humor, but even he admitted that it’s very unpleasant to see him get mad for real.

Anyway, I was watching this documentary and they mentioned Immortal Technique and I was like… “Uh, srsly? They know about this dude in Bolivia?!” Haha.

Speaking of protest music, I bought a Quilapayún album!!! Apparently Other Music had a couple of them. I was so shocked that I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so on Tuesday when I went to buy the Patrick Wolf album I bought Basta. To be honest, I bought it to cancel out the fact that I was buying something so overhyped like the Patrick Wolf album. I mean I love Patrick Wolf, but seriously, there’s just been SO much coverage of him lately. No wonder he’s throwing hissy fits about needing a beauty rest or whatever.

The cover of the Quilapayún album has a dead bird on the cover. It makes me uneasy to look at the album cover, honestly. Y’know vibes of avian flu and just general diseased pigeons roamin’ ’round NYC. But the songs are really cool, nothing like Chilean protest music, huh?

A very basic site on hip-hop from El Alto, Bolivia.

Immortal Technique’s MySpace, though honestly now I think I was the last person to find out about him… I’m so ignant.


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  1. * Roland says:


    I actually heard about Immortal Technique in class as well, in this seminar on protest music. Not *quite* my taste, but he’s got guts and skills, for sure. That mix is coming along, should have it to you by tomorrow…

    See ya!

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 1 month ago
  2. * elib1 says:

    hey, this is eli breitburg-smith. I saw that you had seen our video, and I wanted to see where you had seen it? also, i have to admit that although i thought it was awesome to make this video on political hip-hop, i’m not that up to date with the political hip hop scene. sounds like you definitely know more about it, and if you could let me in on the secret of your knowledge that would be great.

    many thanks,

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 7 months ago

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