In Negro Soy Yo Marc D. Perry explores Cuba's hip hop movement as a window into the racial complexities of the island's ongoing transition from revolutionary socialism toward free-market capitalism. Centering on the music and lives of black-identified raperos (rappers), Perry examines the ways these young artists craft notions of black Cuban identity and racial citizenship, along with calls for racial justice, at the fraught confluence of growing Afro-Cuban marginalization and long held perceptions of Cuba as a non-racial nation. Situating hip hop within a long history of Cuban racial politics, Perry discusses the artistic and cultural exchanges between raperos and North American rappers and activists, and their relationships with older Afro-Cuban intellectuals and African American political exiles. He also examines critiques of Cuban patriarchy by female raperos, the competing rise of reggaeton, as well as state efforts to incorporate hip hop into its cultural institutions. At this pivotal moment of Cuban-U.S. relations, Perry's analysis illuminates the evolving dynamics of race, agency, and neoliberal transformation amid a Cuba in historic flux.
In Negro Soy Yo Marc D. Perry explores how Cuban raperos (black-identified rappers) in Havana craft notions of black Cuban identity and racial citizenship in the face of continuing racism and marginalization during an era in which the Cuban economy, society, and nationhood have been under constant flux.
Acknowledgments ix Introduction 1 1. Raced Neoliberalism: Groundings for Hip Hop 29 2. Hip Hop Cubano: An Emergent Site of Black Life 57 3. New Revolutionary Horizons 91 4. Critical Self-Fashionings and Their Gendering 135 5. Racial Challenges and the State 171 6. Whither Hip Hop Cubano? 199 Postscript 235 Notes 239 References 255 Index 273
"If you're not familiar with Cuban hip hop,Negro Soy Yo is an excellent starting point to get the wheels turning in your head, to start thinking about the music and all of the different places it is coming from, what it's discussing and why. Perry has given us an excellent text to get people from outside of the island to consider how the music communicates things about society that we don't get elsewhere." * Scratched Vinyl *"Negro Soy Yo makes a distinguished contribution to the study of raced citizenship and the performance of blackness through the self-fashioning of Cuban hip-hop." -- Melisa Riviere * Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute *"A necessary guide for understanding the present and future of racialized social stratification [in Cuba]. . . . Perry's most important contribution lies in how he unites the genealogy of Cuban hip-hop with that of the contemporary Cuban anti-racist movement and points sharply toward the political urgency of continued antiracist critiques in the present and future." -- Maya Berry * Latin American Music Review *"Negro Soy Yo provides an insightful and grassroots account of the Cuban hip hop movement's discursive and affirmative evolution in an emerging neoliberal moment." -- Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier * Journal of Anthropological Research *"Perry effectively cuts between lyrics, house parties, run-ins with the police, music festivals, conversations, and theoretical reflections in a multilayered 'raced ethnography' that glistens with his desire to describe an enormous range of details about life in neoliberal Cuba. . . . He contributes wonderfully to Latin American and Caribbean studies, as well as African diaspora studies, cultural studies, cultural anthropology, and ethnomusicology." -- Daniel Castro Pantoja & Jacob Rekedal * Latin American Research Review *"Perry's study is an insightful and nuanced analysis of the Cuban hip-hop movement and an original take on the issue of race and youth culture in transitional post-Soviet Cuban society." -- Daliany Jeronimo Kersh * International Journal of Cuban Studies *"For those not familiar with Afro-Cuban life, the book is an excellent introduction to such, as it intersects the fields of Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Latin American Studies, and Ethnomusicology. . . . The beauty of Perry's text is that it is an excellent book for those not on the island who do not know how the music communicates things about Afro-Cuban society. To date readers cannot get this aspect of Cuban hip hop anywhere else." -- Reginald A. Bess * The Latin Americanist *
Duke University Press