11 May 2009

Monday's mp3: Guantanamera meets Gitmo

The new/old album by Hip Hop Hoodíos (out May 12) provides a chance to revisit some of our favorite guilty pleasures from the world's premier Jewish-Latino hip-hop outfit. Funny as hell, the Hoodios are nonstop outrageous, frequently crude, and always entertaining. The humor starts with the album's title; as the second (or, if you count the Raza Hoodio EP, second-and-a-half) album, it seems a little early for a "Best Of" -- but if you're new to the band or willing to duplicate some of the songs you already own, go ahead and nab this one. From the sophomoric ("Dicks and Noses") to the politically savvy ("Agua pa' la Gente"), this is an exercise in nonstop energy, odd cross-cultural lyrical and melodic lines, and simply the best musical narrative of the cross-pollination of Jews and Latinos you're willing to find anywhere this side of southern Spain.

On this track, an updating of the classic song "Guantanamera," the Hoodíos are joined by WilDog of Ozomatli, Frank London and Lorin Sklamberg of The Klezmatics, Kemo the Blaxican of Latin hip hop pioneers Delinquent Habits, and instrumentalists Walter Miranda (Beastie Boys, Plastilina Mosh) and Chris Washburne (The Syotos Band, Tito Puente).

"When we made the song," says HHH's Abe Velez, "I liked the idea of taking that tropical, bucolic image of this prototypical, idyllic Cuban woman, and use that to some extent as a metaphor for the purity of habeas corpus."

[mp3] Hip Hop Hoodíos: Viva La Guantanamera
from the album Carne Masada-Quite Possibly the Very Best of Hip-Hop Hoodios

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