CAMAGÜEY.- In Cuba there are several groups devoted to urban music, they mix meringue and jazz with electronic music. That is why Yissy García, Yassek Manzano, Albertico Lezcay, Roberto Fonseca and Temperamento, among others, stand out for. But recently, Camagüey witnessed and joined a very young group called La Cruzada, that pointed out, with the musical performance and theoretical debates, the breach between the creation and the short sight of the academy.

Talking about urban music promotes certain prejudice, because both terms have been taken by those who make reggaeton, therefore other artists escape this term. In that sense, Neris González, who brings the curious case of a musicologist who plays the role of the manager of La Cruzada, offered in Camagüey the coordinates she has managed to set. Therefore, she defines urban music as the music that appeared in the big cities, with a strong technological component due to the development of the softwares and music creation platforms.

There is a significant lack of bibliography regarding this topic since there are not books yet, but little works online where it is presented that the geographical component is very important when it comes to studying this new musical esthetics, that gathers elements from the hip hop and the reggaeton; besides, it includes other elements such as dance hall, reggae and other genre that are related to electronic music.

In the panel lead by Neris in the Canal 11 Hall in the Casa del Joven Creador (House of the Young Creator), some interesting artists have flowed since the experience of La Cruzada, constituted as a band on March 31, 2016, but had existed as a project since 2008, then formed by the director and rapper Gustavo González (G-Rhymes), and the DJ Rodney García (Ró)

Both founders have developed in an empirical way because Gustavo is an industrial engineer and Ronney, an industrial designer; however, listening to them is enlightening. The first one thinks of urban music as a category emerged to separate a kind of music in the Grammy awards developed by artists such as Don Omar o Daddy Yankee. In that category, the electronic music begins to be included

Two sides or lines are already evident. One uses only the electronic component like the house or the dup music; and the other merges those technologies with the sound and live interpretation of instrumentalists, and mixes with other genre like jazz.

Nevertheless, it is important to consider, as Rodney emphasized, the term of urban music that was handled in Europe after the creation of the tape machines, to the samples, the industrial sounds of the steam machines used by the academy musicians to enrich their recordings with new street sounds started; besides, the development of the vinyl records, the hip hop and the reggae, and particularly in Jamaica, the dup which took a lot of strength since the 70´s.

An essential idea was debated: the quality of those musical proposals and how contributive it must be regardless of the resource you use to do your work. La Cruzada uses academy musicians, with different interpretation styles, mixed and supporting the electronic proposal.

I share Neris´ concern to so much imitation of the American or Puerto Rican patterns. It is of paramount importance that the urban music made in Cuba touches our roots, what identify us and makes us unique, because our country is very rich in genres, styles and self proposals. Some good examples are Golpe Seco, from Santiago de Cuba, and Zona Franca, from Guantánamo, that mix the nengón and the kiribá with the changüí.

La Cruzada reaches the urban from the communion of the electronic and the acoustic. They use elements of the dancehall, the dup and the twerk in their songs. They use electronic patterns and mix them with unique Cuban rhythms; they nurture from rap, jazz, rumba, pilón, changüí, the electronic component and timba.

For what they have made, it is not very difficult to foresee that La Cruzada will transcend since it vindicates the color of the sound and the cultural reality, because its lyrics reach for merits and because the feeling and transmission of its members claim honesty and commitment.

Translation by Elianna Díaz Mendieta, 3rd year English Language Student