Before they were rappers, Olivia “Pelusa MC” Prendes and Odaymara “Pasa Kruda” Cuesta of Krudas Cubensi were stilt walkers in Cuba. Now they live in Austin, Texas, and perform music and spoken word with socially conscious messages. They will visit Kenyon for a lecture Friday, April 3, at 4:10 p.m. and a performance Saturday, April 4, at 2 p.m. Both events will be at Horn Gallery.
“They’re actually pioneers in women’s rap in Cuba,” said Sarah Finley, visiting assistant professor of Spanish, who organized the visit. “Their music is really interesting because they’re social activists through their music. They advocate for women, they advocate for queers, they were some of the first openly lesbian rappers in Cuba. Their Afro-Caribbean identity really comes out in their music, too."
Finley reached out to the group on behalf of her “Pop Music and Identity” class, which studied Krudas Cubensi. She was especially interested in the conversations the duo could help start about diversity on campus.
“I’d encourage [students] to come and hear what they have to say because their music is very contemporary in the sense that they’re very engaged with what’s going on politically,” Finley said. “And it’s good music — it’s hard to escape that. It’s good music that’s accessible no matter what language you speak.”
The events are sponsored by the Community Development Fund, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, the Black Student Union, the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Program in Latino/a Studies.
By Madeleine Thompson '15