Inka: “Party of Palo” [ft. Evaristo Moreno] Exam follow-up

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Drums echo ancestors across eras and continents. In the Dominican Republic, Afro-diasporic rhythms cut across popular genres like merengue and dembow, exposing stretched ties between the Caribbean country and its sister nation, Haiti. 22-year-old rapper Albreydy Holguín, aka Inka, seeks to untangle this complicated relationship. On “Party De Palo”, he launches a thunderous invitation to his Dominican compatriots to “reconocer a nuestro lado africano” (“recognize our African side”), highlighting the municipality of Villa Mella in Santo Domingo as a center of resistance black – from the enslavement of people who died on colonial sugar cane plantations to the work of land rights activist Florinda Soriano (aka Mamá Tingó) in the 1970s. Singers Vita and Yhonsi bring triumphant harmonies while the principal percussionist Evaristo Moreno strikes on balsié drums (or palos) and handmade tambourines, oscillating between salvo and prí-prí rhythms. “Mira cómo se te está moviendo el pie/Ritmo caribeño que viene en tus genes/No le tengas miedo” (“Look how your foot moves/Caribbean rhythm that comes in your genes/Don’t be afraid of it”), Inka growls . “Party De Palo” is a euphoric celebration of heritage, of musical roots passed down from generation to generation.

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