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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, June 1, 2017

"Violence is cowardly": Rap and poetry bring a new reality to Mexico's slums

Posted by DD Republished from Al Dia Culture


Members of urban rap group Radio Tepito Sound System (L-R) Cesar Cova, Daniel Cruz, Arianna Ramos and Adan Romero In Mexico City, Mexico, May 30, 2017. EFE/Mario Guzman
 Tepito, located in the heart of Mexico City, is going through a social revolution thanks largely to the urban rap group Radio Tepito Sound System, which is out to bring a new reality to a poor neighborhood notorious for violence and drug trafficking.

The band with its 10 young musicians distances itself from crime and uses its raw poetry to portray the struggling masses, urban atmosphere and violence on the streets.

"Speaking is the best weapon, not violence; violence is cowardly," rapper Daniel Cruz told EFE.

Music will never be the whole story for the Tepito group - they are the philanthropists of their neighborhood, collecting and distributing clothing, toys and food for the needy.

With these good deeds, members of Radio Tepito Sound System hope to teach their neighborhood the meaning of all for one and one for all.

Cruz says the group seeks "to change the image Tepito shows the world" and reveal its largely hidden side of undeniable cultural riches.

The youths, who mix music with their studies, do not remain indifferent to the tumultuous life around them, for that is the inspiration for many of their lyrics.
Adan Romero, known as H.R., said that since his teen years he has seen several family members die, both young and old.

"Those are not things a 15-year-old ought to see," the youth said with misty eyes, though adding he is proud to sing "for those people who aren't here anymore."

And he sends a clear message: "Being from Tepito doesn't mean being violent."

He also talks about the worst times these slums have to offer.

"Many take advantage (of difficult times) to inflict violence, stage robberies, take drugs...I use them to make music," he said proudly.

Cesar Cova said he started writing poetry in elementary school to ignore the grim atmosphere surrounding him.

The artist said he was repeatedly warned about the dangers on the street, something that helped turn him to music.

"My lyrics talk about everything. The truth is, we live in a neighborhood where you can expect anything," he said.

The group was born when Cesar Cova and rapper Jonathan Alvarez called for musicians to teach young people "to shed their vices by playing music."

"We taught kids singing, music, rhythm, poetry," Cova said.

Today it is rap, trap and fusion with R&B and reggae that combine to pour out the sound of a band that takes its inspiration from the urban chaos of Mexico City.

Radio Tepito Sound System is just one example of the cultural upheaval that is acting as a game-changer in poor neighborhoods like Tepito, where talent begins to play a more important role than crime.


  1. Sure, when a sicario is ready to execute you for not paying your monthly debt for existing you go ahead and rap at his Romanian made, U.S. imported Wasr-10 ak47.. that should stop the .30 caliber bullet from entering your brain.. for all we know this is the answer to Mexico's drug problem, drug endfuse RAP LOL next time try a pizza party

    1. Hes a chilango, just trying to find a new way of scamming people out of money.

    2. Agree 100%..

  2. I love this. Mexico is so full of the most creative and talented artists, musicians, and artisans. Actually, all of "latin" america has an incredible vibrancy, the US seems somewhat lacking in its sterile subdivisions, and so called order. Thanks for posting this and I'll definately keep my antenna tuned for this crew/collective.

    1. I second that motion !

      Right on, Plus, naysayers notwithstanding, any persons doing acts of good are a force against evil in whatever capacity they are capable of.

    2. I second that Motion ! Right on.

      Naysayers not withstanding, ANY persons doing acts of goodness are forces against evil, in whatever capacity they have.

      Cool story , thanks DD

    3. No esto ya no es de narcos ahora andas en rap de chamacos que te pasa y luego ni rap mugroso que cantan no te digo mejor cuenta de pepito

    4. YES, great article...i had no idea that there were teens/artists/musicians in that terrifying part of town (where even most Uber Pool drivers refuse to pass through) who chose a different path...awesome, will look for the group online y for local performances ♡

  3. Hope it works
    Nothing else does.

  4. Rap is not an art form to me, and will save nothing and nobody from anything, it is like "disco was going to save the world" after the hippies failed with their dirty dirt and drugs to do the deed, then the grungy rascallions were going to save the world with their skateboards and Kurt Cobain and their bath salts or oXi contines or whatever they burn.
    Now these mexican tepiteños and their 20 years too late rap want to do it??? Please.

  5. Musicos de todos tipos de géneros: Animo! No se me rajen. Sigan cantando. - Sol Prendido

  6. Rap music has helped no listener.

  7. They'll b found hangin from a bridge soon.


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