El Kilo, by Orishas
An Orisha is an spirit or a manifestation of God in nature according to the Yoruba religion. A religion that started in Nigeria but that is practiced in different ways in different countries of Africa, America and the Caribbean (due to the influece of slaves brought during the XVI-XIX centuries.)
And the name Orishas is not random, this band that mixes hip hop with Cuban traditional rythms, tries to create a link between them and the African origins of the island. This pride in their origins is also mixed with spirituality and social criticism and can be found in many of their songs.
Truth is that I wanted to write about a song from this band for a long time, but I couldn't decide about which one. Orishas split in 2010, but during the 11 years that they were active they left a good number of really interesting songs: 537 C.U.B.A. (pure genius), A lo cubano, Canto para Eleggua y Changó, La vida pasa, Ausencia, Nací Orishas, Reina de la calle...
I finally decided to write about El Kilo included in the homonym album El Kilo (2005). This song is more "relaxed" than most of the ones that I listed above, but it has the Latin rythm characteristic of this band, always wrapped by a fresh hip hop.
The album as a whole is a gift, it has a more mature sound that the previous albums without losing a bit of the essence that Orishas had brought in their previous two LPs. Definitely, it is a "must-listen".
Article published on October 10, 2014.
This article has been modified since its original publication.