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Rap in Quechua, Living Language and Culture among Cusco’s Youth

Quechua is a sweet language that our ancestors have left us, even if not everyone among us knows it or speaks it.

One group of young people who follow the current of rap has decided to put their rhymes and messages into Quechua. In this way, they conjugate, Quechua and Rap by expressing them from their city and their land.

Rap is one of the pillars of hip hop.  Who has not heard at least a little bit of its poetry to rhythm and song?  It is found in all languages: English, French, German, and more.  Why should it not also be found in our language, Quechua?  These young people from Cusco think up their rhymes and sing them while, at the same time, teaching and maintaining our Quechua language.

Every day, among our young people, you can see how drug addiction, alcoholism, game addiction, and more affect those of the new generation by atrophying their lives.  One of the great escapes from this they find is to bring out from the depths their talents, such as playing guitar, singing, and more. One of those that has risen and is very current is rap.

On Saturdays, several plazas in the city fill up with young people who come to do a cockfight, that is to say a contest of rap to give messages and learn a bit more. As my friend, Frank López, says, “To be able to do rap you have to read a lot in order to compose good rhymes.” As a result, rap is not just a pastime, but is an opportunity to be able to learn new things.

Here is a video of Cusco’s rap and Quechua. (Unfortunately it does not have subtitles.  It is in Spanish and Quechua).

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