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Mexico City’s ‘Conscious’ Rapper: BocaFloja

MEXICO CITY'S PEOPLE'S MC:  Bocafloja or "Lazy Mouth" inside Kaya nightclub

THE PEOPLE'S MC: Bocafloja or "Lazy Mouth" inside Kaya nightclub on Tamaulipas in D.F.

According to M-1 of Dead Prez, Bocafloja is down with the R.B.G movement. That was something I learned listening to the intro of Boca’s last CD.  However, my curiosity about the guy above first peaked when a professor studying “global hip-hop,” told me in so many words that Bocafloja is the truth.

In other words, he’s the  real deal.

(….See a clip from his show and hear the Dead Prez intro after the jump)

Thoughtful lyrics, inspired flows, and fist-raising calls to arms are what mark Bocafloja as an MC. His mostly young fans knew his music by heart and rapped along in revolutionary aplomb.  Check out the end of his Thursday night show.

If you took Common, Mos Def, and mixed in a dash of Zach de la Rocha, then maybe you come close to the kind of rapper we have here. His form of “Rap Conciente,” or conscious rap, has taken him all over the world.

He’s further proof, in my surprising foray into Mexico’s hip-hop scene, that the culture is very diverse, and very healthy down here.

Boca is one of the best Mexican rappers you never heard of and also an ambassador for the culture. He travels frequently, including stops in the United States to talk about AfroMexican culture and hip-hop.  Right now, he’s living in NYC  writing a book with help from a grant he received from the the Mexican government.

Before the show we chatted a little about Mexican hip-hop. Boca said he feels like there’s too much colonial influence with the arts in Mexico and that rap fans here are more apt to show support for rappers from Spain. Deciding who raps better seems to be an ongoing debate.

When I pressed him with as typical a gringo hiphop question as I could: Who’s more influential to you, Kid Frost or Cypress Hill? Boca kind of smiled and told me the essence of Cypress Hill, a group that brought together a Cuban and an Italian in South Central L.A., had the greatest impact on rap in Spanish. Kid Frost he said was “too cholo” for most cats in Mexico City to connect with.

Besides, he grew up listening to Big Daddy Kane. Now, how’s that for representing?

DEAD PREZ INTRO

Listen the sick Radiohead sample in this track off the same album:

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10 Responses

  1. I dont take away from the brother’s work. As an artist he is good, among the best – Maybe? But there are tons of artists in Mexico who I would prefer.

    I feel that above anything else, people that follow Boca Floja seem to like him for what he says over the way or talent of him telling his stories. For example. Mentes Agresivas, Sekreto, or a Nina Dioz are hands down a lot more entertaining according to my opinion. Strictly taking about the art form – not the message.

    As far as the message, over the years after interaction with artists I have come to the conclusion that just like REAL GANGSTERS” dont RAP – Neither do “Revolutionary” Rappers. It’s just a markerting angle.

  2. he’s one dimensional and doesn’t walk his talk but if you like that one dimension he is dope within that

  3. I think Boca Floja is among the best rappers in the world. I first heard of him when my friends of the Immortal Minds opened up for him. I was listening to his lyrics n i was left in awe. Ever since then i’ve been rocking his cd’s. I love the passion he has. Oh, and his poetry book is amazing. Even my grandfather likes his music, trip out right? He’s about and for the people. All i can say is he is ONE OF THE BEST RAPPERS IN THE WORLD! Y vive en el ombligo del planeta- Boca Floja.

  4. Thanks for all the comments, and to whoever posted a link to this post on their Myspace bulletin board.

    @ Danny. I’m not sure that what he’s doing is marketing. Rappers in Mexico don’t make money really. I mean, a little here and a little there. If you’ve ever been to a Bocafloja show you’ll notice the chord he strikes in people, and although he’ll never make Talib Kweli money, he’s got a strong fanbase in Latin America, where the voice of the oppressed always needs a vehicle for expression. He gets support, but dude still relies on grants from the Mexican government to create his art, which includes books.
    If you’re in D.F. this month, Boca plays the Foro Alicia. For $100 pesos you should check it out.

  5. Great article on conscious hip hop!
    Had never heard of Boca Floja before but now I guess I’m hooked…
    Up to now I was only familiar with the more well known examples.
    Will be writing a small series on some of them, starting off with Kanye West.
    Please come by, take a look and share your opinions on these musician that take up the difficult task to rap about social issues.

    http://www.takeyourinitiative.wordpress.com

  6. […] In the meanwhile, learn about political hip-hop in Mexico. […]

  7. Good thing you listened up like last year when I told you ’bout him. Now check out MC Cambio outta Oaktown. His the other half of the original Quilombo Crew…

    • Cambio was out here for a show at the Foro Alicia over the summer. Look for the post on that show (I know…I’m a little behind). Thanks for the heads up on Boca.

  8. Creo que la traducción de “Bocafloja” esta mal traducida. Según lo que lei en una entrevista de él, El artista decía que su nombre de escenario significaba tener la boca “floja” en el sentido del tenerla “suelta” (loose) o “no censurado” (uncensored). Me parece que entonces la traducción al inglés seria…Bocafloja= loose (uncensored) mouth.

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