When Cuban hip-hop duo Krudas Cubensi stormed the underground rap scene on the island in the late 1990s, they stunned crowds with their lyrical explosions about feminism, race and veganism, tackling taboo subjects at the time that made unsuspecting crowds squirm.
With their poetic truths, MCs Olivia Prendes and Odaymara Cuesta launched their musical mission for social justice despite the obstacles they faced not only as female rappers but as openly lesbian women shaking up societal norms.
Krudas Cubensi have now made Austin their home, and are the subjects of an upcoming “Arts in Context” documentary premiering on Austin PBS station KLRU-TV at 7:30 p.m. June 25. “Somos Krudas” will also be available to watch online for free starting June 26 on klru.org.
I met Prendes and Cuesta a few years ago, and remember thinking, when hearing them speak in their native tongue, that even their conversations flowed like rhymes. They’re natural poetic orators.
During an interview with them in 2012, we chatted about their decision to leave Cuba for Austin.“We became aware of the strong international Latina, feminist, queer and vegan movements” outside of Cuba, Prendes said during that interview. “So many things going on in the world, and it was as if we were locked up. Forget it. We knew we were ready for the world, and so we took that step toward change.”
Krudas Cubensi’s latest album “Poderosxs” (Powerful), which is available on cdbaby.com, was released in 2014 and brings spitfire lyrics that are unapologetic, refreshingly open and uninhibited.
Keep up with Krudas Cubensi at facebook.com/KrudasCubensi. Catch their next Austin performance at the Sahara Lounge’s Cuban Festival on Aug. 2 starting at noon-10 p.m.