On a rainy Sunday night, Cuban rap duo Doble Filo (Yrak Saenz and Edgar Gonzalez) brought their rock, funk and son infused jams to AS220. The political relations of Cuba and the United States have affected the cultural and musical exchange among the countries, and if that was not all, the Cuban government exercises some control on their cultural production. Despite that, these rappers managed to circumvent restrictions and bureaucracy to distribute their music at the underground level and finally push it outside of the island.
With an ensemble featuring a saxophone, congas and electric guitar, Yrak and Edgar convey through sharp lyrics some situations that are affecting their country, and the complex feelings experienced by people who decide to leave the island. This was more evident in their song “Clandestino”, in which they critique the Cuban government’s control on artistic creation and freedom of speech.
Doble Filo’s lyrics are charged with a strong social consciousness that steers away from the bling that characterizes mainstream hip hop. They manage to show the world some aspects of Cuban culture that remain veiled to foreigners, while promoting unity between individuals who stayed in the island and those who live in its diaspora.
[Review by William Staffeld]