Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Colombian Hip-Hop



Emcees Slow, Goyo and Tostao (from left to right). Photograph by ROBYN BECK/AFP/GETTY,

The musical trio, Choc Quib Town (CQT), is putting the Chocó region of Colombia on the global music map this summer. The group will introduce its unique blend of hip-hop, urban soul and funk (infused with Afro-Colombian folk) to European audiences in their first-ever transatlantic tour.

CQT is made up of three emcees: Tostao, Goyo and Slow. They came together in 2000 in their home city of Quibdo, near Colombia’s Pacific coast, in part because of a shared passion for U.S.-based artists like LL Cool J and the Fugees. Their songs feature lyrics about everyday rural life and incorporate beats from well-known music such as Fania Music tracks and others with local rhymes and rhythms.

In 2009, the group was nominated for a Latin Grammy in the Best New Group category for the hit songs “Pescao Envenenao” and “De Donde Vengo Yo” from its newest album Oro. According to Goyo, the group’s female lead, the album is intended to showcase the rich musical culture of the indigenous peoples of their region and demonstrate that “Colombia is more than coca fields, marijuana and guerrilla and paramilitary violence.” Plans for a U.S. tour are also in the works.

Watch the music video for “Oro”:

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