“AS FREE AS THE WORDS OF A POEM”: LAS KRUDAS AND THE CUBAN HIP-HOP MOVEMENT
BY Margaux Joffe
The fate of socialism after the fall of the socialist bloc will be determined, more than ever, by socialism’s capacity to sustain in theory and in practice the . . . idea that the intellectual’s adherence to the Revolution (like that of any other ordinary citizen), if the intellectual "really wants to be useful, can only be a critical adherence" [Roberto Fernández Retamar, "Hacia una intelectualidad revolucionaria en Cuba," 1967]; . . . by its capacity not only to tolerate, but to foster the social criticism of its own management that emerges from those very principles, ideals, and values that socialism proclaims as its own. . . . — Desiderio Navarro, "In Medias Res Publicas: On Intellectuals and Social Criticism in the Cuban Public Sphere"
Despite prevailing homophobia among both mainstream American rappers and Cuban society, Cuban rap is a space in which homophobia is contested and alternative sexualities are supported. My main sources of evidence for this argument are raperas Pelusa MC, Pasa Kruda, and Wanda Kruda, who form the group Las Krudas. These three women, who are also lesbians, are widely known as raperas and generally well received. This marks an exception to the dominant discourse on homosexuality, specifically lesbian sexuality and identity within Cuban society.
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