How a hip-hop collective in the mountains of Colombia is mixing urban beats with farm eats

Rapping in the Casa Morada patio.jpg

MEDELLÍN —A boombox blasts a beat as a few young rappers pass around the mic, taking turns freestyling verses in the community center’s patio.

Behind them, a giant mural depicts a single surviving artist in a sea of dead bodies.

“They can’t shut me up. I’m a rapper. I represent the people. I’m a reporter of what happens in the neighborhood, of what happens in the streets,” one teenager spits before passing the mic to the little boy next to him.

Raperos.jpg

Warm afternoon sunshine fills the outdoor space where the young rappers are gathered at “The Purple House,” an activist meeting space in one of the poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods in Medellín.

Carved into the side of one of the mountains surrounding Colombia’s second largest city, Comuna 13 is well known as a site of government neglect and urban violence linked to the country’s five-decade internal conflict.

But Comuna 13 is also the birthplace of a unique blend of activism that combines rap music, social protest and environmental projects.

“We call it ‘agrarian hip hop’ because we’ve synchronized hip hop with agriculture,” explained Luis Fernando Álvarez.

For the past 10 years, Álvarez, who goes by the rapper name “A.K.A.,” has promoted this approach to community engagement as the leader of AgroArte.

Read the rest of this article and see more photographs on Fusion.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s