UCLA Event

Public Conversation on hip hop and race in Cuba with Obsesion

Public Conversation on hip hop and race in Cuba with Obsesion

Conversation on hip hop and race in Cuba with Obsesion. Moderator: Professor Aisha Finch, Gender Studies and Afro-American Studies. Translator: Dr. Vanessa Díaz (Visiting Research, Chicano Studies Research Center).

Thursday, April 13, 2017
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Powell Library Rotunda
Los Angeles, CA 90095

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Conversation on hip hop and race in Cuba with Obsesion. Moderator: Dr. Aisha Finch (African American Studies / Gender Studies).


Obsesion formed in 1996 and its two principal members are Magia López and Alexey “el tipo este” Rodriguez. In 2013 they were joined by DJ Lino, who previously worked with Cuban hip hop group Hermanzos. In 2016, the group celebrated its 20 year anniversary in Havana with a multi-day symposium and performances featuring national and international scholars, artists, cultural advocates, and activists. They’ve released two full-length albums Un Monton de Cosas (2000) and El Disco Negro (2011) in addition to side and solo projects, such as La Fabri-K, and numerous guest appearances and compilation features. In 2003, they conducted a month long US tour during which they performed at the Apollo Theatre with hip hop legends The Roots. Their fan base includes Harry Belafonte, Afrika Bambaata, and Talib Kweli. Since then Obsesion has been invited to the US multiple times for university visits and other cultural/educational exchanges. Over the years they have also held monthly Sunday peñas (community based cultural gatherings) in the Havana suburb of Regla, where Alexey lives. These peñas have attracted many famous attendees including musical artists Usher and Ana Tijoux. Obsesion’s long history has been enriched by their experiences outside the group as well. Magia is the former director of the Cuban Rap Agency, the Cuban government’s agency that supports rap music. Alexey produces music and releases solo albums under the moniker “el tipo este”. Magia and Alexey are deeply embedded in their communities and organize cultural/educational dialogs and events that are distinct from their performance as Obsesion. They also form part of the collective Club del Espendru which empowers Afrocuban culture and business in Havana. They are one of the most well-respected and longest-running hip hop groups in Cuba.

The Obsesion residency at UCLA Library will build upon the relationships forged with Cuban cultural heritage institutions and individuals during the Arcadia-funded International Digital Ephemera Project, including the Archivo de Hip Hop Cubano / Cuban Hip Hop Archive.

Refreshments will be Served.

Cost: Free & Open to the Public

Special Instructions

Parking Information: The closest parking lot is Structure #4. Visitors may purchase daily parking permits (Currently $12) by stopping at the Information & Parking kiosks (cash only) or by using a "Pay by Space" pay station. The closest information booth to Structure #4 is located on Hilgard and Westholme Ave. To use a Parking Pay Station: Simply drive to a self-service Pay Station location (there is one located in Structure #4). Please read the posted signs and screen prompts for Pay by Space. Pay Stations allow you to select the time you need to spend on campus and pay accordingly (all-day passes can also be purchased). UCLA maps and driving directions

For more information please contact

T-Kay Sangwand

Download File: ucla_obsesion_conversation-gq-yqv.pdf

Sponsor(s): Chicano Studies Research Center, Department of African American Studies, Department of Gender Studies, Program on Caribbean Studies UCLA Latin American Institute