This Collective Is Bringing PR and DR Rappers Together for a Night of Puro Flow Caribeño

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Santo Domingo crew OGKollectiv knows the rappers in the Dominican Republic are more fly than the world has realized. That’s why the group is organizing Bass Trapped, a warehouse showcase going down this weekend that highlights the best of the country’s flows alongside peers from their sister island for a night of live PR-DR collaboration.

While dembow artists have managed to export their beats into international club culture — and as a result, the consciousness of non-Latino musicmakers (see: Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” any NAAFI mix ever) — the country’s hip-hop scene hasn’t received the same amount of global acclaim, despite the local success of artists like Lápiz Consciente.

That lack of recognition sets the scene for Bass Trapped, which will feature Santo Domingo hip-hop group Whitest Taino Alive, who pride themselves on their chopería fina and mixing marijuana verses with Junot Díaz references to great effect.

WTA will perform alongside PR’s Álvaro Díaz and Audri Nix. A full slate of DJs will measure the beat for the night: opener Diego Raposo, Nix’s producer Overlord, and the Dominican DJ Cohoba, who is Whitest Taino Alive’s producer and the mastermind behind their latest EP [STOP_030]. The lineup represents the new generation of Caribbean sounds, one that takes local rhythms and incorporates them into an internet-sized pool of outside influences — a great 101 for anyone looking for an update on what’s really happening in Caribbean hip-hop in this dembow-crazed age.

Remezcla talked to OGKollectiv member César Pineda, a musician whose work is located mainly in the pop/ambient spheres, about what his group was hoping to accomplish with the showcase. He was pretty clear on its importance:

“We want to raise up and grow the hip-hop/trap movement in our country, given that the most hyped music right now in the Dominican Republic is dembow. And although the artists in that genre have become known in innumerable countries around the world, there’s a lot of unknown talent. Because of that, we’ve dedicated ourselves to offering a platform that, with help from other young and established talent, can get them the recognition they deserve.”

The decision to include Puerto Rican artists, Pineda says, was made in light of the natural exchange that has always existed between the islands. Puerto Rican artists have been the occasional beneficiaries of U.S. resources, but creatively they’ve enjoyed an interchange with the DR that spans multiple genres.

“I think there’s always been a good artistic relationship between Dominicans and Puerto Rico,” he says. “We chose the artists that we did because we wanted a fresh feeling for the music, a flow that gives you ganas de bailar,” says Pineda. “We think Alvaro Díaz, Audri Nix, and Whitest Taino Alive are the perfect mix to represent this movement. New music, young artists who bring a lot of good energy to the stage. I think that right now there’s more variety in the sounds than before. Each country has its special taste, and when you put them together it’s something great.”

Bass Trapped goes down on July 16, 2016 at 9 p.m. in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Check out the flyer below. To purchase tickets, click here.