San Miguel’s First Rap Festival
By Sandra Ríos
The first Rap Festival took place on Saturday, November 29, on the patio of La Biblioteca. The festival, in wich young sanmiguelenses participated with improvised rhythms in a display of creativity and lyrics, was organized by Sergio Joaquín Zavala and supported by José Luis Mendoza.
Zavala, who has been a rapper for seven years, is a student in business administration and has a major in philosophy and literature in Morelia, Michoacán. For him this musical movement is being generated by the recent boom at national level. “The problem is that it is leaving behind the true essence of rap, which is a free way of expression and freedom, and now it is becoming a commercial product. That is why we organize events like this—to avoid losing rap as a manifestation of culture at a local level.”
Around 60 participants, ranging in age from 12 to 25 years, came from El Malanquín, San Luis Rey, and San Antonio neighborhoods to rap. These rappers started doing graffiti and then decided to show their talent through this genre. The topics currently addressed are daily violence, love, politics, and injustice.
When La Biblioteca offered them a space to express their feelings, this was the first time this group had the support of a local institution. “We did some events before, but the government never gave permission, and now we are thankful for the opportunity La Biblioteca gave us. I tried to get permits from the previous and current administration, and it was always denied. I think there is a wide discrimination towards the youth. They think we are young and ignorant; I think they are ignorant of the culture we are doing.”
Sergio will teach a Rap Workshop at La Biblioteca early next year, aimed at young people age 12 and older, at no cost. The only requirement is that participants become members of La Biblioteca.
“Let’s learn how to give rap an identity; the workshop will be called ‘Rap Mexicano.’ It will aim to create a style and will be both theoretical and practical. I am very grateful for the opportunity La Biblioteca provides for the people who believe in youth; also I would like to give a message of unity to the whole society,” said Sergio.