Rebel Diaz excited audience members with its hip hop performance Oct. 7 in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center as the room transformed into an open dance floor with Chilean-influenced music.
The group is made up of Chilean brothers Rodrigo Venegas, known as RodStarz, and Gonzalo Venegas, known as G1. DJ Illanoiz was also present, producing and playing the group’s music. Some of its songs included political messages such as “stop the war” and “no human being is inherently illegal.”
Before the show, audience members could be seen trying their own hand at Latin-inspired dance moves.
Bryan Pitts, the associate director for the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, said he was introduced to Rebel Diaz's music several months ago and loved it immediately.
“I think what’s so exciting about tonight is learning the ways that music and political action can come together,” Pitts said.
Sound filled the space as lyrics consisting of a mixture of Spanish and English reverberated in the hall. The show was an example of rap that has a universal and optimistic message to promote, Pitts said.
“There’s a broader message," Pitts said. "It tells all of us we can use music. We can use art. We can use literature to effect positive change in whatever way you may understand that."
The group encouraged people to take back the power and ability to influence others which they already possess, whether they are students, members of the black community, immigrants or anyone who is oppressed. The duo discussed how instead of simply opposing, proposition is needed to enact change.
“I really liked (the performance)," said Laís Lara Vanin, an IU Ph.D. student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese from Brazil. "It was really empowering I think especially for the Latina community."
Venegas wanted his group’s performance to be considered an “act of celebration,” in addition to a call for rebelling and having one’s own insurgence.
“The fact that we can get 20 to 30 people in here to be able to share these ideas is a victory,” Venegas said.
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