Rappers rewrite the revolutionary slogan

In 2018 gente de zona, a Cuban reggaeton band based in Miami, performed in Havana for 350,000 people. The duo’s front man, Alexander Delgado, encouraged them to clap for Cuba’s newly inaugurated president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, who was in the audience. Cuban-American musicians and politicians in Miami were furious.

Now it is Mr Díaz-Canel’s turn to fume. In a video released on February 16th, Gente de Zona join other famous reggaetoneros, rappers and hip-hop artists to perform “Patria y Vida” (“Homeland and Life”), which excoriates Cuba’s communist dictatorship and makes common cause with dissidents. Alongside Yotuel and Descemer Bueno, Grammy-winners who live outside Cuba but have strong links to it, Gente de Zona liken the 62 years since Cuba’s revolution to a game of dominoes—a popular pastime on the island—that is blocked, so no player can take a turn. The track’s title is a take-off of the revolutionary slogan “Patria o Muerte” (“Homeland or Death”), which appears on billboards and banknotes.

English translation of the song lyrics can be found below.



Homeland or Death

Gente De Zona, Descemer Bueno, Maykel Osorbo, El Funky

And you are my siren song

Because with your voice my sorrows go away

And this feeling is already stale

You hurt me so much even though you are far away

Today I invite you to walk through my  solar plains

to show you that your ideals


useful. We are human although we do not think the same.

We do not treat or harm each other like animals.

This is my way of saying it

My people cry and I feel their voice

Your five to nine I double two,

Sixty years locked in the domino,

Drum and saucer to the top five hundred of Havana

While at home in the casseroles they no longer have jam.

What we celebrate if people walk fast

Exchanging Che Guevara and Martí for the currency,

Everything has changed it’s no longer the same

Between you and me there is an abyss

Advertisements of a paradise in Varadero

While mothers cry for their children who departed.

It’s over, your five to nine, I double two

Now it’s over sixty years I’m locked in the domino domain, look

It’s over, your five to nine, me doubling two

It’s over sixty years locked in the domain.

We are artists, we are sensitivity

The true story, not the badly told

We are the dignity of an entire people trampled,

A gun point against words that are still nothing

No more lies, my people ask for freedom, no more doctrines,

Let’s no longer shout “Homeland and Death” but “Homeland and Life”,

and begin to build what we dreamed of, what they destroyed with their hands …

Let the blood not continue to flow, for wanting to think differently,

Who told you that Cuba is yours,

If my cuba belongs to all my people

It is over, your time is over, the silence is broken

It is over, the laughter is over and the crying is already running over

It is over, And we are not afraid, the deception is over

I know it ended, they are pushing sixty-two doing damage

There we live with the uncertainty of the past, we planted

Fifteen friends, ready to die beside us, we

raised the flag, still the repression of the regime to the day,

Anamel and Ramon firm with their poetry,

Omara ruiz urquiola giving us encouragement, of life

They broke our door, violated our temples,

And the world is aware that the San Isidro movement continues, ever since

We continue much the same, security putting prism,

These things as they indict me, they I finish the enigma.

There is already your evil revolution, I am funky’style here, so you have my signature

You are already left overs, there is nothing left,

people are getting tired of holding on, to a new dawn we are waiting

It is over, your five to nine, me doubling two

It’s over, sixty years locked the domain, look

It’s over, you five nine me double two

It’s over, sixty years locking the domain












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