iLe’s latest video pays homage the roots of Puerto Rico’s native music, and serves as a light respite from her typical warrior song, as it gives way to her softer, romantic side. “Tu Rumba,” released as part of her sophomore album iLevitable, is a bomba glazed flirty love song that addresses the all too familiar inner battle with oneself during the early stages of attraction. “Yo no quiero confundir las emociones/esto puede que no vaya a funcionar… dime al menos lo que pasa por tu mente, pa’ no morirme de curiosidad.” I don’t want to confuse emotions, this may not work out… at least tell me what’s going through your mind, so I don’t die of curiosity, she sings.
Bomba music, which originated hundreds of years ago when slavery at the hand of Spaniards led to a large influx of Africans on the island, is now the beloved dance and song of Afro-Puerto Rican communities. Listening to it takes me back to La Terraza de Bonanza, where plena and bomba are played weekly, bringing together people from every side of the islita to sway and gather around the healing pounding of the drums. In practice, its dance is just as much a part of the tradition as its sound.
In the video, iLe highlights a diverse group of dancers and musicians while taking us through a funny storyline of fleeting connection reflected in mismatched rhythmic waves.
Over the last few weeks, the Calle 13 graduate has been busy hitting the streets of Puerto Rico and working with the guys to make one of the protest anthems that accompanied it. Though she was largely left out of the stories surrounding the unannounced release of “Afilando Los Cuchillos” and continually referred to as merely “la hermana de Residente,” iLe has been one of the most vocal in her political stances and desire for more unified action— and ultimately independence.
Watch the video for “Tu Rumba” here: