My 5 Greatest D.F. Rap Moments: #5 Bocafloja Show at Alicia (When the Lights Went Out)

bocafloja2009_07_18

I found the following piece in my blog drafts, dated July 20, 2009. Why am I waiting almost a year to publish it? Because this is a blog, and sometimes I have to let things marinate.  Besides, I knew I would do some kind of bloggery count down, so I needed some ¨new¨ material.

Being in the crowd at this concert, above, at the Foro Alicia in Colonia Roma, was one of my greatest Mexico City hip-hop moments. Not in my life have I been to a rap show where the lights and power went out (typical reaction to a violent thunder storm in this part of Mexico City), yet most of the crowd stuck around to hear rappers perform over a drum kit, or accapella. The image, if you were there would have been of a dark performing space and people busting out notebooks to participate in impromptu poetry recitals and top-of-the-dome freestyles. Those kids got to shine, in the dark, but kept things moving so the show could go on. The Foro Alicia was brimming with teenagers in that summer heat, while the D.F. rainy season was in full effect.

My good German geologist friends, Maria and Moritz, came out to the show. And they stood around just like everyone else when the lights went out. Check out some of their excellent photos of life in Querétaro, taking rocks very seriously for UNAM.

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A Night With El Pinche Brujo

When I first heard El Pincho Brujo in his video for ¨Guadalajobru¨, an ode to his state´s top ranked soccer team and hip-hop lifestyle in Guadalajara, I thought I was hearing something special.

I didn´t realize regional Mexican rap had such a strong representative outside D.F. This guy, who came out of the Jalisco graffiti scene, hustles. ¨Brujo¨by the way, is the masculine for ¨witch,¨ and ¨pinche¨ as it´s used in most parts of Mexico, means either ¨damn¨, or  the adjectival ¨fucking¨.

On a Saturday night late last month Brujo showcased his skills. No DJ. Just him, a beer, and roomful of teenagers and curious hip-hop fans. He even took shout outs for rugged spots like Chalco and Iztapalapa.

He prowled the stage in mock drunkenness.  Hitting his rapped punch lines with a nasally flow ala B-Real, but with more bass in his voice. A few times he mentioned the drug cartel devastated Ciudad Juarez. But only got as deep as saying, ¨Man….Juarez.¨ Of course what more could he say?

On a sidenote: El Universal, earlier this year, did a good video report on hip-hop in Juarez. (via Red Barrio)

I´ve been told by one Monterrey performer that drug gangs are known to ¨tax¨ performers sometimes for their show money. It´s rare to hear the type of drug trade braggadocio here that litters U.S. rap.

Nedman Guerrero performed about an hour before Brujo´s midnite set.  One of Mexico City´s more practiced MCs, his style is strictly based in the old school New York-flavored street rap. Learn more about him in this interview (in Spanish) with the Grita Rap blog.

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