Rap from the Bay area

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HAILING from Cuba’s Guantanamo, yes, that Guantanamo, Madera Limpia – duo Yasel Gonzalez Rivera and Gerald Thomas Collymore – mix traditional Cuban music with modern rap.
It’s a kind of Buena Vista Social Club meets The Roots.
And it’s absolutely fantastic.
Granted, the duo rap in Spanish – and the only Spanish I know I’ve learnt from my daughter watching Go Diego Go – so I have no idea whether the pair are addressing social ills or undressing Cuban chicas in their lyrics.
But musically the mix of traditional Cuban styles, all brass and dance, with menacing beats and growling basslines lifted from hip hop and rap shown on La Corona just fits.
The album, the group’s second, really is a crowning achievement.

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