CNN reports there are an estimated 200 hip-hop groups in Havana, Cuba with another 300 scattered throughout the rest of the island. The groups range from kids rapping in the streets, to artists performing in clubs, to a small number recording in studios. Rap began growing in Cuba in the mid-’90s. Unlike the “bling-bling,” of American hip-hop, raperos reflect the reality of where they live. Instrumentally, Cuban hop-hip is very different than its American cousin. It incorporates instruments like batas (tall drums), congas, live drums and guitar bass. Most raperos draw on Cuba’s rich music heritage, incorporating rumba and mambo tunes. Read more.
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