It’s been a while since the release of our printed magazine. In the magazine there’s a World Tour Special, focussing on hip hop from all over the world. One of the featured artists is Bocafloja. We hooked up with him and other artists such as Tiro de Gracia and BK-One to discuss hip hop in South America. As extra content for your pleasure, here’s the full interview we had with the emcee from Mexico.
It’s been a while since the release of our printed magazine. In the magazine there’s a World Tour Special, focusing on hip hop from all over the world. One of the featured artists is Bocafloja. We hooked up with him and other artists such as Tiro de Gracia and BK-One to discuss hip hop in South America. As extra content for your pleasure, here’s the full interview we had with the emcee from Mexico.
Read the original Spanish (Español) transcript of the interview here.
For those who don’t know, who is Bocafloja?
Bocafloja is a social communicator from Mexico. A poet, an emcee. I have been active for more than a decade in the international movement of hip hop.
What is hip hop for you?
Hip hop is a cultural movement of resistance. Today it is one of the most important vehicles of communication for the global youth.
Being one of the pioneers of hip hop in Latin America, what groups or artists (from outside of Latin America) influenced you?
The majority of MC’s of my generation in Latin America were influenced by the rap from the US, from Run DMC, Rakim and Wu Tang, to NWA, Snoop, Biggie, 2Pac and Big Pun.
What Latin American groups or artists influenced you?
Artists like Fat Joe and Big Pun within hip hop, and people like Hector Lavoe, Ruben Blades in other musical genres. In reality my influence comes from artists not necessarily involved in music, I admire people like Basquiat en the visual arts or Glauber Rocha in cinema.
What does the Spanish language bring to the art of rapping or poetry?
I think it brings a characteristic local feeling distinctive to each particular region, with its own unique place in the global culture.
The popularity of hip hop in Mexico has grown alot since the 90’s, what was most important for the development of hip hop in Mexico?
Hip hop gained media visibility bit by bit, but more so it was the social conditions; the economic, racial and political issues under which a movement such as hip hop traditionally gestates. A scenario that has been repeated time and again in many communities around the world.
How is the current hip hop scene in Mexico?
It is large, diverse, and very active with regards to frequency of events.
You are renowned for your educated poetic and politically conscious style, how did you become the MC that Bocafloja is today and what message do you bring?
It has been a long process. Primordially, a process of transformation, politicization, and self awareness at a personal level which as a consequence is refelected in my work as an MC. When I started my rhymes talked about very simple distinct things, but indebted to this process of personal transformation, my focus was directed more towards the utility my discourse can have for others more than my own satisfaction or necessity as an artist. I believe in the art as a social function.
You are a huge voice for social change in Mexico, how has your message been received by the youth?
It has been received very well generally, Obviously, the more popular you become, the number of critics grows, but that’s the work, before the gaze of the world, and fortunately we are doing well.
What is QuilomboArte?
Quilomboarte is a small organization; an artistic collective which through cultural productions attempts to act as a bond between a few specific communities and art. We utilize diverse processes of transformation and emancipation with rap, spoken word and hip hop culture as one of our tools of communication.
Tell me about ImaRginacion.
ImaRginacion is the name of my first book. I wrote it with the help of Fabian Villegas who is also part of Quilomboarte. It’s a poetry anthology and a series of essays. We are very proud of the project because it is one of the first books written by artists of the hip hop movement in Latin America.
What is in the future for Bocafloja and Quilomboarte?
Lots of plans! In the following months it’s the 5th anniversary of Quilomboarte, where we will celebrate the release of the record ‘Quilombo Radio Vol. 2‘ with a series of events and presentations in Mexico and the United States.
More info: Bocafloja (Bandcamp)