The Talented Rapper, Ana Tijoux

Speaking of hip-hop that raises women up, I give you, Ana Tijoux.

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Her music holds a place in my heart for several reasons. Her lyrics, her subjects, her beats and her unique voice. But also, I’m enamored with how I first came to know about her music. In 2010, I was living and studying in Chile and I was talking to a friend of mine about how it’s a bummer there is a shortage of women rappers out there. And he said,

“Oh you haven’t heard of Ana Tijoux yet have you?”

He also introduced me to her earlier stuff when she was a part of the great hip-hop crew, Makiza. But my favorite song of hers remains this one:

(You might even recognize this song from an episode of Breaking Bad where the track gained a lot of fame.)

Another reason I especially love her music is because of this engaging experience. When I taught in Rwanda, I introduced the students to Ana Tijoux’s song “1977” and they loved it. The French speakers especially caught onto the Spanish and it ignited a further interest in the language and an interest in women as rappers. When exams came around, I posted this picture of Ana Tijoux that says: ‘Ana Tijoux says, ‘Buena Suerte con el resto de sus exámenes!‘” Which means, “Good luck with the rest of your exams!

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And the students posted this paper next to it as though it were Facebook. Haha, so sweet.

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One of Tijoux’s latest songs, titled “Antipatriarca” has especially empowering lyrics:

“…Tu no me vas denigrar, tu no me vas obligar” (You’re not going to denigrate me, you’re not going to force me)

Tu no me vas a silenciar tu no me vas a callar (You’re not going to silence me, you’re not going to shut me up)

No sumisa ni obediente ( I’m neither submissive or obedient)
Mujer fuerte insurgente (insurgent, strong woman)
Independiente y valiente (independent and valiant)
Romper las cadenas de lo indiferente (break the chains of indifference)
No pasiva ni oprimida (Neither passive nor oppressed)
Mujer linda que das vida (beautiful woman who gives life)
Emancipada en autonomía (emancipated and independent)

And this song is just plain badass:

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