A Guide To Medellín Rap

SR Pablo on the Colombian city's phenomenal underground scene...

Before talking about rap in Medellín, I think it is important to provide some context for you.

For those who don’t know, Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia. A country located in South America, between Venezuela and Ecuador. You’ve probably heard about us thanks to J.Balvin, but our musical history goes much further than that.

One of the special things about Medellín is its affinity for music. In 1920 we welcomed, as if it were our own, Argentine Tango. Later on, in the 80’s, we surprisingly became a reference for punk. There are even those who say that English punks were listening to what was made here, it had a particular sound.

PESTE, MUTANTEX, KDH ( KASO DE HOMICIDIO) and I.R.A PUNK are some of the Paisa Punks.

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Later, in the 2000s and thanks to Puerto Rico, we started talking about reggaeton and a few years later we became the capital of the genre.

Medellin is the home of reggaeton, perreo (reggaeton dirty dancing) and it’s the ‘sonida de calle’ (sound of the street) here. It’s what we are best known for. We are a city that is always experimenting, we have our ears open and a fixation for taking musical genres and making them our own.

Paisas are fearless, creative and they have a DIY mentality. With rap, what’s been happening is a similar story. Imported rhythms and sounds that are definitely here to stay. An artistic movement around rap is developing, incorporating art, graffiti, fashion and dance.

Our musical DNA naturally leads us to mix genres and rhythms, making our rap a very interesting proposition for the industry. The sound is fresh and fearless, and shared by many groups within the city – gangsters, skaters, hip-hop kids, punks, hipsters. It’s for all.

Here’s a starter pack of Medellin rap to get you started…

Crudo Means Raw – 'Sangre en el Poolparty'

“Esto es Medellín. Sangre en el Pool Party” / “This is Medellín. Blood at the Pool Party”

Thomas Parr – 'Lluvia Al Sur'

“A veces llueve al sur y pierdo el norte. A veces escribo dolor y no hay quien lo soporte.” / “Sometimes it rains south and I lose the direction to the north. Sometimes I write pain and no one can bear it.”

Sr Pablo – 'Double Trouble' (Prod. Diggin Flava)

“Salgo con una idea y siempre dejo que me lleve la marea.” / “I come out with an idea and I always let myself go high and low with the waves.” 

Sr Pablo – 'Don´t Stop' ft. Apache (Prod. Diggin Flava)

“Me preguntaron que cuánto podría cobrar, les dije una suma y a la luna me fui a volar.” / “They asked me how much I would charge, I said an amount and to the moon I went to fly.”

Doble Porción – 'Esas Cosas'

“Me lleno en llenar mis paginas que me hacen sentir en la cima. No por encima.” / “I fulfill myself by filling up my pages. That makes me feel on top.“

Alcolirykoz & No Rules Clan – 'No Rules'

“Que quien Va? El escuadrón del BoomBap. Los reyes del timbal, se va armar la murga” / “Who is going? The BoomBap gang. The kings of the timbal, the party is la murga“

Gordo Sarkasmus (Doble Zeta & Granuja) – 'Shit Happens'

Pienso en mi comisión pa un día decirle a mamá que ya no se preocupe. En un país de traicionados, pasados la barrio del los acostados” / “I think about my commission I’m going to get to tell Mom not to worry anymore. In a country of betrayal, the past swope up all those that were laying down“

Mabiland & Crudo – 'La Mitad La Mitad'

“No tiene idea de la mitad de la mitad. La mitad de la mitad de la mitad de lo que voy hacer” / "You have no idea half of half, Half of half of half of what I am going to do.”

Rapiphero – 'Sesión #5 – AK 47' ft. Rapiphero

“Al día de hoy quiero la suerte de Locky mas que el trueno de Tor.” / “To this day I want Loki's luck more than Tor's thunder.”

El Jose – 'Polo a Tierra'

“Hacer imprescindible este ritual. Lograr lo imposible en el acto y lucir casual.” / “Make this ritual essential to me. Achieve the impossible on the spot, and look casual.”

Luis7Lunes – 'Arde Roma'

“Ángeles de alas rotas. Simple, pues ya no estás y no se nota.” / “Angels with broken wings. Simple, because now you’re gone and I can’t notice.”

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Specials thanks to Dresden Leitner

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