Rebeca Lane leads concert to cap off week at Rutgers
In its infancy, hip-hop originated as a creative outlet for the disenfranchised people of color living in the low-income neighborhoods of New York, and the genre continues to represent a culture that often reflects on socioeconomic and political realities of marginalized communities. Since its conception, the power and influence of hip-hop has garnered a legacy internationally, including in Latin America.
In conjunction with Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance (VPVA) Turn the Campus Teal for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Rutgers Center for Latino Arts and Culture (CLAC) presented a "Latinx Women in Hip-Hop" show at the Livingston Student Center on Wednesday. The program featured Guatemalan feminist rapper and artist Rebeca Lane, whose music addresses women’s rights, violence against women in Central America and the marginalization of the Guatemalan Mayan majority.
Lane was joined by Costa Rican-based MC Nakury and Mexican-born Audry Funk who performed with her under their Somos Guerreras collective, a hip-hop group they formed as a means to create a safe space for Latinx women interested in hip-hop. Serving up the beats for the night was DJ Loup Rouge, a Salvadoran producer and musician based in New York City.
Nakury opened up the show with her songs “Esencia” and “Necesario” that speak on the importance of women sticking together and collaborating creatively. Funk gracefully represented her home country of Mexico with an introductory acapella performance, then transitioning into rapping over a classic hip-hop beat.
As a current New Yorker, Funk reflected on being an immigrant from a struggling country, referring to herself as a proud “daughter and artist of the underdevelopment.” Still missing Mexico dearly as she makes a name for herself in the Bronx, Funk also reflected on the importance of connecting with her Mexican culture in a city where she often times feels out of place.
Funk warmly welcomed Lane to the stage, who kicked off her set with “Alma Mestiza,” a record about her indigenous heritage that’s often met with criticism and the importance of embracing your roots. Part Mayan K’ich’e herself, Lane expanded on the issue of racism within the Latinx community and explained how artists like herself use hip-hop as a voice for expressing appreciation for their ancestors as well as a weapon against discrimination. Other songs performed by Lane focused on the importance of nature and spirituality as well as social and political issues.
The rapper dedicated one song to Nicaragua, in which she encouraged indigenous communities to resist corruption and oppression, and emphasized the beauty and necessity in embracing the chaos life throws at us. In another song, she denounced the femicide, rape and overall brutal misogyny that Central America faces, calling attention to the “Ni Una Menos” feminist revolt she likened to the #MeToo movement seen in the United States.
The three MCs joined forces on the stage as Somos Guerreras, singing songs like “Para Mi Gente” — for my people — with lyrics about embracing their culture in a world with Eurocentric beauty standards and creating safe spaces for Latin women in hip-hop.
Through their meaningful music, Somos Guerreras brought a unique and rich cultural experience to Rutgers. The rappers are playing an increasingly active role in the hip-hop community, and their music is available on all streaming platforms.