Past Event


A Road Scholar Program by Catalina Maria Johnson

This presentation by Catalina Maria Johnson – radio broadcaster, music curator, and cultural journalist – celebrates the musical works of Latino hip-hop artists in the United States, the Americas, and Spain as a distinctive new form of poetry. Today’s hip-hop has become a musical lingua franca which is appreciated and understood in Mexico as easily as in Puerto Rico or Chile or Spain.

Yet, additionally, just as historically many Spanish-language poets were influenced by the music of their homelands, today’s hip hop artists are often informed by the poetic traditions of their countries, and, indeed, their rapping can be seen as a cultural product that advances these traditions in a very special way. Mala Rodriguez (from Andalucia, Spain) certainly knows of García Lorca and Miguel Hernández from her homeland of Spain; Ana Tijoux from Chile, whose parents were exiled to Paris during the Pinochet dictatorship, was raised not just on protest songs but also on the words of Nobel Prize Winner Pablo Neruda; Residente from Puerto Rico’s Calle 13 spits out rhymes as carefully crafted as any poet’s; and Niña Dioz from Mexico reads dictionaries to find the precise words to fit her ideas and rhymes.

Using video examples and illustrations from lyrics, this presentation makes a case for Latino hip-hop as a new poetry and shares some great music along the way!

This event is Free and Open to the public.

For more information, please contact Colleen Springer-Lopez at or Pat Luebke at

Note: This presentation is available in Spanish and English. Host organizations will need to provide a wi-fi Internet connection and projection capabilities.