The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t stop many of your favorite artists from going on a little vacay during this past Easter break, and it surely didn’t stop them from documenting it on social media. Guaynaa and Lele Pons can be added to that list, as they took a trip to sunny Cartagena de Indias and they had a close encounter with one of the most idiosyncratic figures from the city’s tourist ecosystem: street freestylers.
With no social distance in sight and a face mask or two missing from the picture, a trio of freestylers surprised the young celebrity couple with their skills, and Guaynaa was impressed enough to share the impromptu performance and give them props on his Instagram account. One of the rappers, Michaelst Salcedo, took a chance and actually left his fee in one of the comments.
Freestylers are all over Latin America and they can catch you off-guard in the street, on the subway or city buses. But Cartagena rappers have found a way of making a bigger splash on the internet by getting caught on camera serenading some of the region’s biggest stars. The best example is El Grupo de la Costa, led by MC Caribeño; using Daddy Yankee’s “Dura” as a foundation, they entertained Marco Antonio Solís so masterfully for eight (!) minutes straight that El Buki himself invited them to join him on stage on one of his concerts in the city in 2019.
A similar story occurred in January this year, when rappers Jorge Movilla, Deiger Caraucan, Sari Helena y Luis Alfredo Brito, a.k.a. Luis Leyenda, who found their way to Carlos Vives’ performance at Hay Festival after giving the Colombian star their freestyle welcome to Cartagena.
“El Sol de México” Luis Miguel and vallenato artist Silvestre Dangond are also some of the big artists who have been blessed by these street rappers, and while some tourists and locals might categorize them as “pushy,” we can’t help but being happy for the results of their well-intended insistence.