The Miami band Problem Kids have become the pride of the Cuban American community in South Florida as they take on the ignorance of Jay-Z and stand up for human rights and freedom in Cuba.
Problem Kids Talk Jay – Z, Cuba
Miami natives Problem Kids aren’t simply a band or solely a hip hop group. Their frontmen are two emcees, who are joined by a full band and a DJ. Between all of those different group members, the band can easily flit through hip hop influences, bring in some Latin, and finish off with some blues – all in one song.
Recently, they released an Open Letter to Jay Z entitled ‘Useful Idiot’, bringing in the Cuban American perspective into the debate. Before their show at The Stage this Friday, the Problem Kids shared why they felt the need to make this song, plus shared details about new upcoming music:
Your group has two emcees, a full band, and a DJ. How does each group member influence the overall sound you create?What we love about the band is how many different ideas we can come up with for one song. It’s like the song starts off very vanilla, with the original idea in place. By the time the song is finished and everyone has put their little touches on the track, it becomes that much more alive. The communication factor is incredible, so the ideas come together very easily.
There was the recent release of the Jay Z open letter track; why did you feel it was so important to put your perspective out there?When we first heard the song, we just felt like we needed to inform Jay-Z of how we, as Cuban-Americans, viewed the whole vacation and the whole “Open Letter” song. We feel it’s important because there are misconceptions about life in Cuba. When women can’t walk in the streets and express themselves without getting beaten and thrown in a jail, that’s something the whole world needs to know about. We felt that with music, the voices of of those being persecuted would be heard. The purpose of the song wasn’t for recognition, it was for freedom and for the love of Cuba.
How do you hope the Cuban – American community reacts to this track?The response has been pretty crazy already. We have had family members calling us and becoming very emotional at the fact that the younger generation has such passionate feelings about Cuba. Most of the older generations doesn’t really think we care and keep up with what is going on in Cuba, but some of us actually do. And if you hear the song you can understand that these aren’t made up emotions. This is us speaking for our grandparents and those before them who were persecuted and left with nothing. This is us speaking for our family. For our people.