Trueno: Hecho de barrio

El Sonido: Cancioneros
Albina Cabrera

El Sonido: Cancioneros is the first season of KEXP’s newest podcast series, El Sonido, and the first produced fully in Spanish. 

What keeps us rooted in a world where everything is changing? Music. We each have songs that connect us to our origins, and through those, we can draw the sound map of our lives. The first season of the El Sonido podcast offers a musical tour through the personal songbooks of key artists in modern alternative, popular and independent Latin music to explore what it means to be from a place and what Latin music is today. Host Albina Cabrera guides us through each artist's story across eight episodes, from the song that decided the destiny of Mon Laferte to the visual and political approach of Lido Pimienta, from the revolution of Villano Antillano to the childhood of Trueno and the comeback of Buscabulla. As we journey through the songs that shaped each artist, we get a portrait of the present and future of their music scenes.

Listen to the podcast with English subtitles on the KEXP Podcasts YouTube channel, or read an English transcription of our latest episode below. A Spanish transcription and audio is available here.

TRUENO: When you’re used to fighting and doing everything to the best of your abilities with very little resources, you want to share your success with the people who were around when you had nothing. 

ALBINA CABRERA: Mateo gives everything his all, but never alone. As Latin Americans, we grow up with the idea that success is a journey from the South to the North, with the conviction that when you give it your best effort, you pave the way for many others.

In Trueno’s homeland, the story of the Collective Hero was created. This figure, created by the Argentine writer and cartoonist Héctor Germán Oesterheld, is far from the concept of the hero seeking individual triumph. It only exists if there’s a group with a common goal, it’s everyone’s collaboration that lends to the survival of this particular hero. 

TRUENO: Rap is here. We are the ones using it to lead a hip-hop movement in Latin America 

TRUENO: I’m Mateo Palacios, singer-songwriter and writer of rap music. 

ALBINA CABRERA: In our fourth episode, we’ll look at the songs past and present that make up a large part of Mateo’s journey. A songbook that tracks the conversation between hip-hop culture and Latin America. 

ALBINA CABRERA: I’m Albina Cabrera and you’re listening to El Sonido Podcast, the new and first spanish-language content from KEXP. Our first season is called Cancioneros. Here, we call on the songs that make you the person you are. We reconstruct the fundamental soundtracks of important artists in the alternative, popular and ever- growing scenes. 

Trueno’s songbook is a guide to understanding him as a modern example of the long relationship that Latin America has with hip-hop, specifically rap. It’s important to think of it in a modern context to understand two things:

On one hand, Why did a cultural movement created by and for African American communities in the United states have such a strong impact that it expanded and installed itself into solid and authentic local scenes with its own rules and messages across Latin America?

I asked these questions to some of my colleagues at KEXP. This is Gabriel Teodros, writer, rapper, associate music director, and host of the Early show on KEXP.

GABRIEL TEODROS: I think hip-hop got embraced everywhere in the world where people were struggling, where people were facing economic hardships, whether there was government repression, whether there was mass poverty anywhere on this planet.

ALBINA CABRERA: Gabriel believes that hip-hop was adopted all over the world because people were struggling and confronting various challenges: economic, governmental repression, and structural poverty. 

Trueno’s songbook and how it came together in his upbringing will help us understand. But let’s stay here a bit longer to understand its origins and impact.

GABRIEL TEODROS: I feel like people saw hip-hop and identified it as an accessible form of music, almost like folk music where people can tell their own stories and basically chant down the system. You know, it's akin to folk music, akin to reggae. 

ALBINA CABRERA: Gabriel highlights the fact that working class people saw hip-hop as an accessible form of expression and links it to folklore which guided many personal histories. The idea was always to criticize the system via song, which we can see in folk music as well as reggae.

But it’s beyond that, the links between hip-hop and Latin music go back to the origins of the genre. And this is what I was getting to. Larry Mizell Jr. is a key figure in rap and journalism in the Pacific Northwest and he breaks it down for me.

LARRY MIZELL JR: When we're talking about the beginning of hip-hop, we're talking about, you know, the South Bronx, New York City. So this was a neighborhood, a whole borough that had been really abandoned by the government, burned-out buildings.

ALBINA CABRERA: Larry is the Editorial Director at KEXP and host of The Afternoon Show and the podcast 50 years of Hip-hop and Fresh Off The Spaceship, which is about a collective of musicians he is a part of called Black Constellation. 

ALBINA CABRERA: If we’re talking about the beginning of hip-hop we have to go to the south Bronx in New York. 

ALBINA CABRERA:  The afro-caribbean presence was significant from the start, says Larry.

LARRY MIZELL JR: Let me think of a manner of MCs, DJs and a lot of dancers and a lot of people who were doing graffiti. So all of these elements of hip-hop, all these people were present. I always understood hip-hop to be a creation of black and Latino communities in New York in the seventies.

ALBINA CABRERA: In those common spaces, the three elements of hip-hop culture:, MCs, DJs, and breakdancers, both African American and Latino in New York City shared space from the very beginning. 

JENNIFER MOTA: So many people get lost in the conversation of whether it is African American or if Latinos have a right to say and forget that all the pioneers all of this existence literally comes from the Caribbean. Whether it be the English-speaking Caribbean or the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, everything comes from the Black Caribbean.

ALBINA CABRERA: That’s Jennifer Mota, visual producer, music journalist, and Dominican historian.

ALBINA CABRERA: Let’s go to South America.

Mateo Palacios was born in the La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires 21 years ago. La Boca and the entire ‘Comuna 4’ of the city have characteristics that parallel many other working-class neighborhoods across Latin America. Communities that have created heroes of the modern Latin American hip-hop movement of which Trueno is so proud of. 

TRUENO: I think that when you’re raised in an environment like that, it’s impossible for it not to rub off on you. I think the environment I grew up in was also important in helping me realize how music affected me and that I enjoyed it a lot. 

ALBINA CABRERA: Talking to Trueno is like naturally building the songbook of Latin American rap (past and present). Trueno’s story interests me because he’s someone who was prepared from birth to be a rapper and began to absorb hip-hop culture from a very young age, in a place very far away from the birthplace of the genre. He did so alongside another MC from his community, but not just any MC…

When you talk to Trueno, you’re also talking to the son of Pedro Peligro.

ALBINA CABRERA: Pedro Palacios, AKA Peligro, is an Uruguayan immigrant who’s lived in Argentina for years. He’s been a part of the underground rap scene since the 90s. He leads the artistic collective Sur Capital Clika from Comuna 4 in Buenos Aires.

TRUENO: It’s that song that represents my entire journey, the whole history of my dad is all 100% there in the song. On the first song of the album, in the intro of ‘Hoop Hoop’ is the history of my father.
He’s like the coach, like the personal trainer and motivation, the guru of the team.

ALBINA CABRERA: Trueno presents the first collaboration with his father, MC Pedro Peligro, opening his second album, Bien o Mal.

TRUENO: My upbringing in hip-hop without my father would have been nonexistent. 

HÉCTOR ELÍ: He’s totally inspired by his dad, Pedro Peligro, who’s very much real hip-hop. And there’s this essence of quote unquote conscious hip-hop, which I don’t really like to say because hip-hop is many things.

ALBINA CABRERA: Hector Elí is a journalist, radio host, and host of the podcast EL FLOWCAST.

HÉCTOR ELÍ: Pedro Peligro is a fan of Tupac…

Biggie, all of the OGs, the originals. And so that is what contributed to the formation of Trueno’s consciousness of his social positioning in Latin America. 

ALBINA CABRERA: I, of course, called Pedro Peligro. He helped me understand Trueno’s experience a bit better, and the legacy of an historic struggle in his art. 

PEDRO PELIGRO: I come from a family of political exiles, resulting from the dictatorship that happened, the dictatorships in Latin America. 

PEDRO PELIGRO: My father was a singer-songwriter from Uruguay, a protest singer, with clear communist leanings. 

ALBINA CABRERA: Who you hear singing is Yamandú Palacios, Pedro’s father, Mateo’s grandfather. The song is ‘Décimas políticas’ from the 1975 album Canción de Nuestro Tiempo.

What Pedro Peligro tells us about his generation helps us describe the political context in Latin America that saw the birth of hip-hop as well as the generation who would gravitate towards the movement as a form of expression that would see its first wave in the 90s. 

PEDRO PELIGRO: During the time in which he was expressing himself, communism was very romanticized. In that moment, socialism had a different energy, a promise to change things. 

ALBINA CABRERA: Pedro is the song of political activists and his history is not unique. Latin America in the 70’s and the beginning of the 80’s was overtaken by military dictatorships. 

ALBINA CABRERA: You can’t understand the music of that time and Latin American culture without understanding this core moment, without understanding the struggle of the disappeared person, the work of mothers and grandmothers of the Plaza De Mayo in Argentina, continue to look for their children and grandchildren who appear in songs across genres in South America. There was censorship at the time, and metaphors were used to tell the stories that weren’t heard in the news on TV.

ALBINA CABRERA: What you’re listening to is the song “Tierra Zanta”, on the album Bien o Mal which won the Gardel de Oro (Argentinean award) for album of the year. 

TRUENO: Tierra Zanta was that, I feel like I expressed everything that I’d learned from those journeys and in the quest to figure out who I am, who my family is and where I belong. 

ALBINA CABRERA: This song is a collaboration with the legendary Argentinian composer and folklorist Victor Heredia, whose sister disappeared in the last military dictatorship from 1976-1983. You can also hear the voices of the guaraní singer Charo Bogarín. She’s the granddaughter of the chief Guayraré and the daughter of the disappeared activist Francisco “Pancho” Bogarín. 

TRUENO: I decided to include someone like Victor. You also have Charo on backing vocals, who’s another Quechua Argentinian singer, and it’s very important that people with this history participate and contribute their experiences. Because for me it’s something that I protest and that I think is unfair, but I also didn’t live it directly. So I can’t speak of it as if I’d lived it, though I think that it’s important that people like Victor and Charo, who did live it and fought against it, do speak on it. It’s just as important for me as it is for them, attaching their voices to this message that is both new and also happened a long time ago, and is impossible to forget. 

ALBINA CABRERA: The collective hero is a character from El Eternauta, the formative work from Héctor Germán Oesterheld, one of the most important graphic novelists in Argentina and the entire continent. He disappeared and was assassinated by the last military dictatorship in Argentina. His stories criticized the military attacks and claimed they were defeated, in his fiction, by a collective hero.

Latin America in that time was a dangerous place to create art. The policies built to suppress revolutionary-focused art gave way to many of the rappers that would tell these stories years down the line. 

ALBINA CABRERA: To understand this a bit better we move to the west. Chile under Pinochet, for example, and the wave of political exiles of those years, made it so that one of the most important rappers of the scene had to be born in France. In 1977 Ana Tijoux arrives. 

ANA TIJOUX: Rap was like love at first sight. It was a love that blew my mind. It’s a culture, an amazing culture that has allowed me to explore myself, to write, to put music to so many things.

It was a connection that many immigrant children had, in my case. Feeling like we were a part of something. The home for those without a home. I always saw it that way. 

ALBINA CABRERA:  Ana is the daughter of Chilean political exiles who live in France. She became a pioneer in Latin American rap when she joined the group MAKIZA in 1997.

ANA TIJOUX: As a Chilean, I always saw that this year was highly important. In 2023, it’ll be 50 years of hip-hop and 50 years of the coup d’etat in Chile, 50 years of both of those things. It’s a crazy parallel to me. 

ALBINA CABRERA: Also a part of that movement were Tiro de Gracio, La Pozze Latina, and Panteras Negras in Chile.

ALBINA CABRERA: Simultaneously in Central America, with dictatorships, wars and peace treaties between the government and the guerillas, a fertile ground was formed for rap that would continue to develop in the 90s. That context helped us understand Trueno’s songbook and the acceptance that he embraces through his music. 

ALBINA CABRERA: The Guatemalan rapper Rebeca Lane has studied political rap since birth.

REBECA LANE: Our recent histories are greatly impacted by the war. In Guatemala, in the 90’s, they began to sign peace treaties. 

REBECA LANE: We come from a history of repression in the arts because in art, music, culture, there’s resistance and anti-authoritarianism.  

ALBINA CABRERA: Much like Pedro and Ana, Rebeca also knows about the disappeared and has found hip-hop to be a way for her to remember and exercise the truth and justice. 

REBECA LANE: First I listened to Actitud María Marta for their closeness to HIJOS and I said “wow, children of the disappeared, they’re talking about things that I’m living now.” I listen to Makiza too, children who had to leave in exile 

ALBINA CABRERA: Knowing Mateo’s mentor, his father Pedro, we meet the generations who lived the beginnings of hip-hop in Latin America. It’s important to clarify that this is not the rebuilding of that history of the genre but an exercise in understanding the extreme north and south of Trueno’s songbook and his scene. What are the contact points?

LARRY MIZELL JR: I think hip-hop is the most powerful youth movement of the last century and not just the last 50 years. There's no place on earth that it came to where it didn't make converts of young people who felt disenfranchised and cut off from political power who were poor especially. So I think that's why it really resonated all throughout Latin America and everywhere else. 

ALBINA CABRERA: We say that the neighborhood that Trueno grew up in has similar characteristics to other rap hotbeds across Latin America that contribute to the image of this collective hero. His neighborhood is La Boca, a center of theater and art in Buenos Aires and that is where Mateo grew up in the 2000s: between theater and rap concerts alongside his father, Pedro Peligro.

PEDRO PELIGRO: It was an invaluable tool for expression. Down the line it also became a tool for social change, understanding hip-hop as a culture. 
Mateo also grew up in that context.

Final rapeado 
Yo soy Trueno niño, soy rey de esta área (I’m Trueno, king of this neighborhood)
Y cuando canto mi rap aplaude toda mi primaria (When I rap everyone applauds)
Yo soy Trueño niño, mi rap no es cualquiera (I’m Trueno, my rap unlike any other)
Yo soy de La Boca y de acá de La Bombonera (I’m from La Boca, and from La Bombonera)
Yo soy Trueño niño, ganarme no lo intentes (I’m Trueno, don’t try to beat me)
Yo soy de La Boca y de acá de los dos puentes (I’m from La Boca, the two bridges)

ALBINA CABRERA: Trueno grew up in a hotbed of community-bred art, La Boca, which is not unlike other working-class communities in the region. From there he learned the fundamentals of music alongside his father and his mother, the artist Juliana Corazzina. 

TRUENO: My mother exposed me to another type of music, she showed me artists like Charly Garcia and others in Argentinean rock.

TRUENO: She also showed me Cuban Salsa and other things of that nature.

TRUENO: I listened to music from everywhere, with my father a bit more in the realm of urban and hip-hop, reggaeton, and everything that comes from the streets. From Control Machete…

TRUENO: Cypress Hill…

TRUENO:  …to Vico C and Daddy Yankee from Puerto Rico.

TRUENO:  René from Calle 13. 


TRUENO: There are also a ton of rappers from Latin America that I’ve listened to since I was very young thanks to my father.

ALBINA CABRERA: In his first years, Mateo absorbs what his father had lived as a key figure in the golden decade of rap, the 90s. It was a scene that was very Latin American. Rebeca Lane explains it to me…

REBECA LANE: This scene outside of our territory is so big because you have scenes, for example, the Chilean scene, Argentinean, Cuban, Colombian, and Venezuelan that at that time were huge, very solid, and practically grew alongside the scene in the United States.

ALBINA CABRERA: And it is the figures of that generation who will come to form the collective hero that TRUENO belongs to.

TRUENO: Chile has Tiro de Gracia.

TRUENO: Rapper School from Perú, 

TRUENO: Tres Coronas from Colombia. The truth is that there are tons. Marcel D2 and Planet Hemp from Brazil as well.

ALBINA CABRERA: In Mateo’s country, Argentina, two heirs of the rock scene brought South American rap to MTV in the ’90s. It was Ily Kuryaki and the Valderramas, the duo made up of Emmanuel Horvilleur and Dante Spinetta. Here’s Dante.

DANTE SPINETTA: I remember walking through New York. I was walking and suddenly a car drove past me full of Latinos, I think they were Puerto Ricans, not Dominicans, I believe. And they were listening to Abarajame La Bañera, the Ilya Kuryaki song that was on rotation throughout all of America.

ALBINA CABRERA: Dante, son of Luis Alberto Spinetta, recognized a conversation between Latin America, its communities, its music, and North American Hip Hip.

ALBINA CABRERA: It was like we’re a part of it, we have a voice in this and began to also feel pride from the Hispanic community.

DANTE SPINETTA: Feeling a part of a community gives me a lot of strength too. What touches you will touch you and you can’t fake the love you have for something. Why did some of us here connect with rap when there wasn’t rap? I remember that we were rapping and didn’t even know what it was called and one of my dad’s friends came back from a trip to New York and told us, did you know that what you’re doing is called rap? And we said well, ok, let’s rap.

ALBINA CABRERA: Dante has followed Trueno’s career since he started in the battles.

DANTE SPINETTA: There’s a direct correlation between when I first saw Trueno when he was very young to the artist he is today. He has that flow and he’s aware of what happens in the world, but he does it in his own way, you know? He’s not a wannabe, he’s the real deal. 

ALBINA CABRERA: Trueno sampled IKV on “Dance Crip,” in my opinion, his strongest production.

ALBINA CABRERA: And Dante invited Trueno to be a part of Sudaka on their latest album with the same name.

DANTE SPINETTA: I automatically thought of him because he’s very adaptable and his flow is very musical. He can do an amazing job with anything he takes on. You just know he’ll kill it. And he does it in a very Argentine way, but also with a global vision. That’s the interesting part.

ALBINA CABRERA: In Dante’s story I find something similar to Trueno’s which is that he was also exposed to music at a very young age. Dante with Luis Alberto Spinettta and Mateo growing up with Pedro Peligro, who’s been rapping in the Argentinean underground for years. Here’s Pedro… 

PEDRO PELIGRO: I’d take him to sing with me or, when he was very young, to break dance because at three years old he loved to break dance. Starting at four and five years old he would get on stage and beatbox and drop some of his own bars.

ALBINA CABRERA: Pedro was his home and his community, but what rap was playing during Trueno’s formative years?

TRUENO: I was born in 2002, so that was the moment of more mainstream rap from the United States. I listened to Nelly,

Yo nací en el 2002, entonces me tocó como el momento del rap, quizás de Estados Unidos que que era como el más mainstream. Me tocó el rap Nelly, 

TRUENO: I listened to 50 Cent,

TRUENO:  I listened to Dr. Dre’s 2001 which came out right when I was born.

TRUENO: That’s how I started learning and then I dug into some of the older stuff. I found NWA later, and Grandmaster Flash came later when I was more conscious and studying everything a little more. 

TRUENO: But it was really the rap of the 2000s that I grew up with, like Xzibit, Ludacris, Fifty, Snoop, Eminem.

ALBINA CABRERA: At Trueno’s house there weren’t just songs, there was also a musical ring for Mateo and his father Pedro.

PEDRO PELIGRO: Training him for freestyle battles since his beginnings. We would train for 4 hours, like an athlete or anyone who was seriously dedicated to it, not to mention that at first he was a Youtuber.

TRUENO: There was a moment in which I realized that everything I knew and loved and kept me going was music because it’s what nurtured me more than anything in the world.

ALBINA CABRERA: Trueno connects with an entire movement that exploded in Argentina and other countries in Latin America via street battles. They formed a collective that went everywhere. From the creation of el Quinto Escalón in 2012 and its revolution in 2016 onward, the movement marked the presence of a youth that was born with other questions to ask and answers to give in the form of improvised rhymes, on corners or neighborhood plazas, and on a latitude much different from that of the Bronx in 1973.

TRUENO: Latin America is generally in a really, really amazing moment. Rap is not only playing loudly in Argentina, but in Mexico there are artists like Alemán who are very famous and making real rap. They’re not trying to sell anything in their songs.

ALBINA CABRERA: Aleman is one of the most distinctive artists from both the Mexican and Latin American scenes.

TRUENO: The world energetically gave us a recognition that we haven’t had for a long time, possibly since the 90’s. It also helped that the ‘Urbano’ genre was growing.

ALBINA CABRERA: When you revisit the past to give artistic justice to the present or create possible futures, you need to accept what’s missing in order to change it. In looking at the history of hip-hop we find: invisibility…

REBECA LANE: The Latin American and Caribbean influence on hip-hop has been totally erased. I think it’s an essentialism that was created by the U.S. music industry, right? I’m being very self-referential, but you can’t deny that the pioneers of the culture were Caribbean.

ALBINA CABRERA: Very little space for women

REBECA LANE: At the time there were very few women, I couldn’t even imagine being a rapper myself because I just saw men doing it.

ALBINA CABRERA: Rebeca mentions the erasure of Caribbean roots and the lack of women, but there’s a third factor that is just as important and also made invisible that is connected to hip-hop’s very own origins – structural racism. It’s something that this story can’t even completely cover. There are more artists, there are women and there are rappers, as well as a huge diversity of communities and origins. Trueno names some that influenced him and are a part of his scene. 

ALBINA CABRERA: On this journey, we’ll see how hip-hop created a collective and expansive identity. The artists that have been inspired by this movement will lead generations of talent in Latin America and the world.

TRUENO: Everyone in their countries. Giving it everything they have and unifying. It’s that independence, that autonomy, and that responsibility too. You’re not just fighting for yourself, but for an entire genre, so that we all respect each other.

ALBINA CABRERA: We put together a map of the present-day heroes of Latino rap according to Trueno.

TRUENO: In Mexico there’s a huge scene. Santa Fe Klan, Aleman and Mexican corridos that are really impactful. In Venezuela, Akapellah has been representing hip-hop for a long time. 

TRUENO:  Lil Supa, there are ton of really important examples.

ALBINA CABRERA: That richness, according to Ana, is due in part to the fact that the culture is so diverse.

ANA TIJOUX: It’s not just African American, it’s also Latina. Many Latino communities, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Chicanos. All of the immigrant communities, Haitians, Jamaicans. It was a reunion of migrants. That is hip-hop. If you look at all of the DJs at the time leading up to today, there are a ton of Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, a mix of people. This culture is much bigger than the industry and it encompasses things that were previously unthinkable. A response to the 70s in New York, the 70s were extremely violent. It’s really insane that in the middle of that appeared a musical culture that has deeply impacted the course of music.

TRUENO: They invented this genre. So maybe it takes a little bit more for them to be amazed. Like seeing rap in other countries or seeing how other countries have replicated what they do and learning how to respect it, but there are a lot of things that go unseen. I’m sure that there are lots of people in the United States who don’t know what’s happening in Argentina, who don’t know what’s happening in Mexico or in any other part of Latin America. But I think what’s next is going there and showing them, and we’re doing that.
ALBINA CABRERA: In 2022, Trueno collaborates with the rapper from Atlanta JID and demonstrates that the bridge between the two scenes and cultures is solidifying.

TRUENO: It makes me happy that a rapper, for example JID, like Sting, wants to collaborate with an Argentinean artist. That means that they’re recognizing the level we’re at. We have to join forces and I think it’s happening little by little. 

ALBINA CABRERA: Mateo wants to draw me a map of what he considers Argentinean music today.

TRUENO: Duki with trap, sometimes making trap and sometimes reggaeton, R&B is also great, he’s a very versatile person. There are the women too, Nickie, Maria Becerra, Nathy Peluso, Cazzu are all examples of different movements. Tiago, Paulo, all of those guys do things in their own distinctive ways. Baby Luka, El cambio cuatro 20. Rap in Argentina is growing a lot. 

ALBINA CABRERA: The artists that Mateo mentions add more chapters to this story, as they don’t come 100% from rap but from a fusion that opened the doors to a trap scene with direct contact to pop structures, fusions with Cumbia Villera, reggaeton, while their performance styles are informed by both underground and commercial scenes.

“Bajé del show a las doce y llegué a Argentina a la' seis
Un vino malbec de Mendoza para matar la sed
Fumo una kush del espacio que hace que me pesen los pies
Aprovéchame ahora donde estoy, no sé a dónde voy después”

ALBINA CABRERA: If hip-hop broke its original barriers and traveled around the world, I ask Trueno what other genre could do the same in the future or perhaps the present…

TRUENO: I feel like the next thing that will be able to do that in both Latin America and the United States are the Dominicans with dembow. They’re amazing and there are a ton of people doing it.

ALBINA CABRERA: The Dominican Republic will have its own episode in our second season but we didn’t want to forget to mention that artists from there are also contributing to the future of rap. J Noa, best known as La Hija del Rap, is a 17-year-old Dominican rapper who is on the cutting edge and doing everything on her own terms.

J NOA: I asked my mom for permission. If I told her ‘I’m going to rap,’ she wouldn’t have let me go. So I said ‘I’m gonna go hang out with the guys’ and I would go behind the school that I went to and we’d form a circle and record ourselves, and make videos while someone did the beat with their mouth.
My specialty in rap is double-time and people would be like “wow, look how young she is and how well she can rap.”’ That helped.

J NOA: I feel like I’m an example of self-improvement and a living example of someone who wants to do something, doing it. 

ALBINA CABRERA: From the Chicano rap of Cypress Hill to the motivational rap of Kendrick Lamar, to the era of Aleman to the unstoppable J Noa, Trueno creates a musical map that includes the history of the exile of his grandparents, the rock he learned from his mother, the hip-hop battles with his father, and the many paths paved by his contemporaries. From La Boca to the top, Mateo demonstrates that hip-hop can be a collective effort that fights for freedom in Latin America.

Si preguntan quién soy (If they ask me who I am)
Qué llevo, a dónde voy (What I bring, where I’m going)
De tierra santa (from holy land)
Soy de donde nací (I’m from where I was born)
Donde voy a morir (where I’ll die)
Mi tierra santa (my holy land)

ALBINA CABRERA: Do you know what the inspiration for that song was? The Oscar-nominated movie about the disappeared during the last military dictatorship in Argentina ‘Argentina, 1985’.

PEDRO PELIGRO: That’s what happened to him, and I’m sure of it because I know he saw 1985 and his head went ‘pum!’

A veces pierdo, a veces gano (sometimes I lose sometimes I win)
Pero no es en vano morirme por la tierra que amo (but it’s not in vain to die for the land that I love)
Y si los de afuera preguntan cómo me llamo (and if the people outside ask what to call me)
Mi nombre es "Latino" y mi apellido "Americano" (My first name is “Latin” and my last name is “Americano”)

ALBINA CABRERA: Trueno continually revives the messages from the time of the struggles of his grandfather, his father, his people. It will become the message of ‘Nunca Más’ and the assassination of the young Lucas Gonzalez in 2021 by the police when he left to play soccer in Barrio de Barracas, Comuna 4, Buenos Aires. It was what triggered uniformed authorities to forcibly remove him from the stage during his first performance at Luna Park in 2022, the country’s most important arena. 

ALBINA CABRERA: Fuck El Police closes the concert. An obvious reference to the legendary song ‘FUCK THE POLICE’ by the California 90s group NWA.

This memory and these songs complete Trueno’s generation. One which, at the southern end of the continent, found hip-hop to be a hero with many faces and a vehicle of expression whose success was always dictated by its community.

[Verso 2]
Hip-hop pa' que tenga y pa' que guarde (hip-hop to have and to protect)
Se rascan el bigote pero es demasiado tarde (they scratch their mustaches but it’s too late)
Videla y Massera ya lo pagaron con sangre (Videla and Massera already paid in blood)
911 veces me cago en su yuta madre ( I’ll fuck you over 911 times)

TRUENO: When there’s enough energy and everything feels a little more possible, you feel as if it’s a tender stroke to your soul for everything you’ve been working towards so that this movement works and the people receive it. 

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