Peru’s Queen of Quechua Rap Wants to Rescue Indigenous Culture With Her Music

Renata Flores is part of a new generation of artists producing contemporary music in Quechua, the language of her ancestors.

Credit…Celia D. Luna

The music video begins with the sweeping views of the snow-capped Andes Mountains and the whistle of the region’s traditional wind instruments.

Then you see Renata Flores. Standing defiantly in the baggy pants, slick ponytail and hoop earrings that have become the uniform of hip-hop artists around the world, she begins to rap — in Quechua, the language of the Incas, whose empire was rooted in these heights.

This blend of traditional and transgressive, rural and urban, local and global, has thrust Ms. Flores, 19, and her music into an intensifying debate over identity in the region, and made her a leader among a new generation of artists producing contemporary music in Quechua, which remains the most widely spoken Indigenous language in Latin America… NYTIMES

The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Used to Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19. Here’s the History Behind the Lyrics

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By Olivia B. Waxman

hile COVID-19 has been dubbed “the great equalizer” by some, emerging data suggest that minorities in the U.S. are more vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic on multiple levels. In New York City, for example, preliminary data showed that 34% of fatalities as of April 8 were within the Hispanic community, despite their making up only 29% of the city’s population. Nationwide, Hispanic and Latinx Americans are also the largest uninsured group.

In addition, only 16% of Hispanic workers can do their jobs from home. That means many are essential workers on the front lines of the pandemic fight — in New York City, they make up about 40% of employees at grocery stores, convenience stores and drug stores — and others are unable to work at all. Nationwide, about half of Hispanic people say a household member got a pay cut or lost a job, or both, as a result of COVID-19, compared to 33% of U.S. adults, per a Pew Research Center survey conducted March 19-24.

That disproportionate impact is part of the inspiration for a new video, launched Tuesday, that aims to pay tribute to the roughly 60 million Hispanic people in America and their work on the front lines of this crisis. It also provides a reminder of an often-forgotten slice of American history: the creation of the official Spanish-language national anthem. TIME

What Music Do Americans Love the Most? 50 Detailed Fan Maps

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YouTube has become a dominant force in the music industry in the last few years, particularly among younger people. With the help of YouTube’s geocoded streaming data, we set out to map the contours of music fandom and culture in the United States.

Of the artists on the Billboard Top 100 this spring, we looked at the 50 that were most watched on YouTube in the United States between January 2016 and April 2017. Each map shows relative popularity in different parts of the country. If one part of a map is lighter, it doesn’t mean people there weren’t watching the artist’s videos; it just means fans were more likely to listen to a variety of other artists.

See the complete set of fan maps below, listed in order of YouTube views in our data… NEW YORK TIMES

“Despacito” is breaking records, making memes, and crossing cultural barriers

Screen_Shot_2017_07_21_at_2.26.47_PM.0In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s what’s up with “Despacito,” which you’ve undoubtedly heard even from under that rock.

The summer’s Spanish-language megahit from Puerto Rican musician Luis Fonsi and guest Daddy Yankee has been taking over the internet at, ironically, lightning speeds. (“Despacito” means “slowly.”) This week it became the most-streamed song of all time…  VOX