Anyone out there still trying to tell people hip-hop is dead clearly needs to broaden their musical horizons. If they checked out Choc Quib Town they’d be well on the way to seeing their error. Proudly representing the African influenced culture of Colombia’s Pacific coast, emcees Tostao, Goyo, and Slow produce hip-hop that is very much alive — both in sound and spirit.
They draw on rhythms and musical touchstones from the Pacific and across the Americas to create a free-flowing style with a richness that can feed the soul. “La Calle o La Casa,” for instance, has a loping beat with a Caribbean feel, while “Son Bereju” starts out artfully sampling a bit of salsa piano before hacking it up and cutting it with good old boom boom bap. You have to hear it.
The trio raps about the sights, sounds, flavors, and even local saints of their region. The group’s name refers to Chocó, the remote regional department the rappers hail from, and Quibdó, its capital city. Choc Quib Town have said in interviews that their Pacific Colombian culture, and Afro-Colombian musicians are often ignored in their country. Their frustration with this is a part of what motivates them to be seen and heard.
And this year they are being heard more than ever. They were nominated for a Latin Grammy for their song “De Donde Vengo Yo,” hit SXSW, and gotten raves for their second album Oro.
Their growing worldwide acclaim has led them to tour across Latin America, Europe, and North America. Listening to their tracks now, we think the day is coming soon when everyone will know where Chocó is.