Cuban Hip Hop All Stars, Volume 1

After receiving a handwritten letter at the offices of an independent NY hip hop and graffiti magazine about a blossoming rap music and DJ scene in Havana, Cuba. Steve Marcus and a friend devised a plan to get to Cuba and record and document what was happening there in 2000.

During their extended short stay they produced The Cuban Hip Hop All-Stars, a compilation of local Havana rap groups which they recorded at Abdala Studios. The album was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2001 and Rolling Stone Magazine and The New York Times wrote of its influence on a generation of Cubaphiles.

Their historic adventure is among a handful of cultural projects pinpointed by scholars as instrumental in Cuba’s current political and social changes, and an analysis of The Cuban Hip Hop All-Stars, Steve‘s historic mural of “The History of Cuban Hip Hop” and his photography while in Havana has figured prominently in two separate books published by university presses: Cuban Underground Hip Hop:  Black Thoughts, Black Revolution, Black Modernity by Tanya L. Saunders (University of Texas Press, 2015) and Negro Soy Yo: Hip Hop and Raced Citizenship in Neoliberal Cuba by Marc D. Perry (Duke University Press, 2015).

In 2017, Marcus for the first time publicly give his personal behind the scenes gonzo account of a global post 9-11 security adventure that produced a project that until the recent changes in US and Cuba relations has been untold and was joined by Dr. Tanya L. Saunders author of Cuban Underground Hip Hop:  Black Thoughts, Black Revolution, Black Modernity for the speaking engagement. She is the Associate Professor for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida.

cuba mural 75 x 20 art.jpg