Cuba: Censored rap group thrives on YouTube

19 May 2010

The songs of the Cuban rap group Los Aldeanos are considered ‘too critical’ by Cuba’s authorities and therefore they have been banned on Cuban radio stations and cannot be sold in the shops. According to an article published by Reuters, YouTube has instead become their channel for expressing themselves.


“Los Aldeanos are YouTube kings. They are audio-visually pirated throughout the globe,” producer Riviere is quoted as saying in an article by Esteban Israel, which was published by Reuters in May 2010.

Los Aldeanos can “sell songs on iTunes to followers abroad, but in Cuba they remain an underground band that has been playing mostly unadvertised gigs at unauthorized venues for seven years,” Esteban Israel wrote in the article.
“Barred from access to state media, their fans hear about their performances by word of mouth or text messages sent from cell phone to cell phone.”

      Los Aldeanos

Click to read articles about music in Cuba

Aldo Rodriguez and Bian Rodriguez formed their two-man group Los Aldeanos in 2003 and have recorded 20 albums since. They are considered one of Cuba’s most important hip-hop groups. Their music is all over the internet and several of their videos got more than 500,000 hits on YouTube.

The group’s name means The Villagers.

Their lyrics instill a sense of understanding of the social, political, and economical problems that aggravate Cuban society today, wrote one of their promoters on YouTube.

A translation of one of the rappers’ lyrics go:

    • “I’m not going to turn my back on reality
    • even if they censor and repress me (…)
    • Days go by and I’m still locked up, censored.
    • They look at me like a renowned dissident,
    • rejected by the media…”




Watch video on

More videos of Los Aldeanos


Read the article
Reuters / ABC News – 17 May 2010:

‘Underground Cuban Rappers Live on the Edge’

Los Aldeanos’ official profile on MySpace:

Read more about Los Aldeanos

Wikipedia – the open encyclopedia:

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