The Return of the Gods

In a year that has seen president Obama, the Rolling Stones and a Chanel fashion show making their way through Havana, it is no surprise to see that notorious Cuban rapers Orishas —in some ways, the trailblazers of a wave of new Cuban culture to the world in the XXI Century— are back with new music.

The trio, that achieved worldwide success with their 2000 debut album A Lo Cubano, recently released the track “Cuba Isla Bella,” a single that may baffle casual fans who know them by tracks like their breakthrough hit “A Lo Cubano.” 

Their new track set them in a different territory—a long, sprawling track that seems anchored in more conventional Cuban pop music, son, and trova, with brief rap interludes, before a crescendo that seems like it wants to explode like an EDM track but it never does. 

It's not a total letdown, but a bit of a baffler as to where does Orishas want to go in 2016. It may be that the desire to include too many guests in one musical statement —Gente de Zona, Leoni Torres, Isaac Delgado, Buena Fe, Descemer Bueno, Laritza Bacallao, Waldo Mendoza and Pedrito Martinez are credited— defeated the purpose of said statement. 

Whatever you think of “Cuba Isla Bella” and it's not-very-original theme of loving and missing the island, the great news is that you'll be able to see Orishas live this summer in a tour that will begin in Fort Myers, Florida on August and cover most of the country over 10 dates.