"My Crime", Making pro-freedom music under a dictatorship
Leave a Comment Posted by Pedazos de la Isla on June 20, 2013
This blog recently had a chance to catch up with Julito, independent and
dissident rapper from the duo El Primario y Julito, who spoke to us
about the group's new record, an opposition rap agency, the difficulties
independent artists face in Cuba and more.
The dissident hip-hop group El Primario y Julito, based in Havana,
recently launched their new album titled "My Crime" ['Mi Delito'], a
production which contains 14 songs, among them the first single
"Lambon", which has been accompanied by a music video.
Julio Leon Fonseca, better known as Julito, explains that "My Crime" is
one of his favorite projects to date. It consists of a number of
"protest songs" and others which are more "commercial and reaggaeton-based".
Among the protest anthems are "Este año si se Cae" ['This year the
dictatorship falls'], a collaboration with the punk-rockers Porno Para
Ricardo, while other invited artists on the disc are Rapper Issac and
Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso ['The Unwanted Children']. The latter also
form part of a new rap agency, along with Primario y Julito, dedicated
to making protest music.
"This agency consists of 5 rappers who are not allied with any
government organization and we work completely independent because we
are members of the opposition", says Julito, "The agency is made up by
us – Primario y Julito – and also Rapper Issac, from Santiago de Cuba,
and The Unwanted Children, from Bayamo".
The young musician highlighted the situation of Angel Yunier Remon
Arzuaga "El Critico", a member of The Unwanted Children, who has been
arbitrarily detained for more than 2 months, being held in Las Mangas
Prison of Bayamo, for making protest music and carrying out civic
activities as a human rights defender.
"Some artists affiliate themselves with certain musical or cultural
groups belonging to the government, but we don't buy that", expresses
Julito, "we make protest music and we have absolutely nothing to do with
government agencies. If we are going to protest, we will do so with our
means, not with theirs".
He adds, "in reality, this is not a government… it's a family dynasty
which took over the country and has not wanted to let go. This country,
this government, has to change…or better said, this government has to
Some of the other 14 new songs are "Gobierno Tirano" ['Tyrannical
Government'], "Triste" ['Sad'], "Malo" ['Bad'], and "My Crime", which is
the title track and recounts how the regime classifies these musicians
as being dangerous because they write lyrics critical of the system and
publicly manifest their opinions without censorship.
This free attitude has cost independent artists on the island quite some
reprisals. Julito says that in the case of his group, "we have been
beat, we have been arrested and we've been completely censured". In
fact, Primario y Julito also go by the name "Los Censurados", ('The
"When we started making music as a duo and we launched our first disc,
we were summoned various times by the political police. While in the
police units, agents told us we would not have access to any stage and
that we would not be allowed to perform live", recounts the Havana-based
musician, "In fact, I still haven't been able to perform live because of
this. And it's something I have always wanted to do as an artist, to
see how the crowd reacts to my music. But these things happen under
Despite the censorship and the prohibition of not being able to present
themselves publicly, Primario y Julito still have lots of followers.
"There are many people who listen to us, who know who we are out on the
street, especially young people", assures Julito, who also explains that
in order to spread their art, they have to do so through their own
means, "burning CDs and handing them out to the population", while
"opposition groups also help us spread our work throughout the
country". In addition, they have to do record in "home studios" which
other musician friends lend them.
He points out that an efficient way to assist artists like them in Cuba
is to facilitate their access to blank CDs and USBs.
"Our discs are not on sale in Cuba", says Julito, son of well known
dissident and Lady in White Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo. However, anyone
can buy the new album on their website, www.elprimarioyjulito.com.
Roberto de Jesús Guerra, director of the Havana-based independent news
agency 'Hablemos Press', recently published a video-clip of one of the
new singles of the rap group, "Este año si se Cae" ['This year the
"Here we are", expressed Julito, "My message to other young musicians
like us in Cuba is that they join us to keep taking the sentiment of
freedom to the people. Here I am…and we have to keep fighting without
fear and taking this protest music against the dictatorship".
To contact directly with Julito:
Cell Phone: +53-246-070
Source: ""My Crime", Making pro-freedom music under a dictatorship |
Pedazos de la Isla" -