We caught up with Chilean emcee Anita Tijoux who made lots of waves during SXSW 2010. It was her first trip to the US as she celebrated the release of her new album 1977. The title represents the year she was born along the pioneering days of Hip Hop in the Bronx.
Anita who is an astute student of Hip Hop music and culture noted that its important to reference and pay tribute to the foundation. Anita through her flows, subject matter and study of other emcees has managed to do just that-pay homage.
For many here in the states Anita Tijoux is a new face in an already packed scene. In Chile she’s abig deal-a superstar. She was born in France to a French mother and Chilean father who was in political exile during the Pinochet dictatorship. She first started to get known in 1997 when she was part of a group called Makiza which featured Seo2, Cenzi and DJ Squat. She later left the group and attempted to go solo and for a while hooked up with Julieta Venagas a popular pop singer. She later reunited with members of Makiza and then left again to do her solo album 1977
We started off our interview by getting an update on the situation in Chile. She explained that many people in her country are suspicious after the 8.8 earthquake and they fear another shoe is going to drop. Many believe that the shaking was man-made-caused by HAARP… Others are saying, the earth-shaking so violently was God’s way of saying get rid of the president and the fascist regime he represents…Anita noted that while her family is doing ok, many people are not. Chile has privatized everything from water to medical help, hence only those with money are faring well. Others are suffering.
We spoke to Anita about her music and whats influenced her. She says that she mixes traditional folkloric music with Hip Hop. She says she rhymes in Spanish although many insist it’s easier to do it in English. She says her biggest influence were artist like Bahamadia. She also notes that if she had a magic wand she would love to do a song with KRS-One, Flying Lotus, Peanut Butter Wolf and Madlib.
Anita laced us up on the Hip Hop scene throughout Latin America. She said things are in full gear in places like Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru. Brazil things are really large to the point its an entity on to itself. She noted how MTV has ‘MTV Latin America’ and ‘MTV Brazil’. She noted that Hip Hop has widespread appeal because it gives voice to the voiceless especially in poorer communities.
We conclude by speaking with Detroit rapper Invincible who is featured on the song Sube which talks about upliftment and using Hip Hop as a tool. Invincible had nothing but praise for Anita who she said she met online and began the process that led to them recording the song which they performed several times during SXSW.
Here’s the Breakdown FM podcast to our interview w/ Anita Tijoux