By Chris Richburg
Date: 8/10/2006 6:15 pm
Rapper Common and Dead Prez member M1 will appear in a new documentary that traces the history of Hip-Hop in Cuba.
The bilingual film, titled Cuban HipHop: Desde el Principio (From the Beginning), traces the step by step development of Cuban Hip-Hop.
The documentary examines important events such as the first time Cubans heard black pop music of the 70's, the first major Cuban Rap Festival in 1995, censorship issues Cuban rappers have faced and the harsh Cuban reality that has led some Cuban Hip-Hop artists to defect from Cuba in recent years.
The film is the culmination of five years of first-hand investigation by filmmakers Vanessa and Larissa DÃ*az.
"This documentary is about showing the true history of Cuban Hip-Hop," said Vanessa Diaz, the film's executive producer. "These artists developed a Hip-Hop movement with few resources and we developed a documentary about it with limited funds. I lived with these people, performed with them, and love them like family."
Additionally, the documentary will explain how Cubans learned of hip-hop in spite of a U.S. embargo against Cuba.
Intimate interviews and performances by Cuban Hip-Hop artists Doble Filo, Obsesion, and AnÃ³nimo Consejo as well as never-before-seen footage of Common, M1 and political exile Nehanda Abiudun are featured in the film.
Cuban HipHop: Desde el Principio shows how Cuban rap is used to express the views of disenfranchised youth, under Fidel Castro's regime, including the lack of commercial success for artists.