1. Since many of the people discussed in this book share surnames, I will
frequently identify hip hoppers by their ﬁrst names or artistic names.
2. For detailed discussions of the term ‘‘underground,’’ see Baker 2011 and
3. On the bvsc and timba, see Neustadt 2002 and Perna 2005.
4. His comments appear on the inside back cover of the second edition of
Movimiento, the Cuban hip hop magazine. All translations are by the author
unless otherwise noted.
5. The bibliography on U.S.-Cuban musical relations is extensive: particu-
larly useful are Roberts 1979, Waxer 1994, Sublette 2004, and Acosta 2005.
6. Brennan (2008, 8) notes four previous cycles of foreign infatuation with
Cuban music, dating back to the nineteenth century.
7. East of Havana is the title of both a documentary and an accompanying
book about Havana hip hop. Where page numbers appear, I am referring to
8. The Buena Vista Crew, also known as the Buena Vista Plan, was formed
to unite hip hoppers in this Havana neighborhood.
9. Like Pardue (2007, 704), I have opted for ‘‘hip hopper’’ as a catchall term
since the alternatives are either long winded and ideologically loaded (‘‘mem-
bers of the hip hop movement’’) or excessively colloquial for repeated use
(‘‘hip hop heads’’).
10. The atmosphere at hip hop club nights is quite different from that at
more commercialized venues where timba and reggaetón predominate: entry