Hip-hop as a Global Language of Resistance
Multilingual Mexican Hip-hop Artisto
Hip-hop DJ from Los Angeles
This presentation features two hip-hop artists from indigenous groups in Mexico.
Usa Isu is from a farmworker family in the Mixtec ethnic group of Mexico. He grew up speaking Mixtec and later learned English and Spanish. He heard American rappers, but couldn’t identify with them. Then Chicano rappers caught Isu’s attention, which led him to experiment with tri-lingual rap (English, Spanish, Mixtec). It was well-received. He says rap fits into his ethnic tradition of story-telling, and when he visits his hometown even the elders ask him to rap for them.
DJ Survive grew up in Los Angles, listening to indigenous music from his Mexican Zapotec community. He was bullied for speaking Zapotec and eventually joined the gang-dominated street life. When he was 11 or 12, he went to a party that featured a hip-hop DJ. From then on, he was focused on Hip-hop, creating his own mixes and tapes. He likes to use songs that have strong messages about such issues as immigration and the survival of black and brown people. He still enjoys Zapotec music and dance.
Recorded: October 12, 2016