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realclearworld

New Times interviews Miami band Problem Kids: ‘Our Duty as Cuban Americans to Tell the World How Cuba Really Is’

The Miami New Times interviews one of our favorite Miami bands, Problem Kids:

Problem Kids: "Our Duty as Cuban Americans to Tell the World How Cuba Really Is"

Problem_Kids_Interview_Cuba_Miami_2014.jpg

It takes cojones to lyrically smack down Jay Z. But Problem Kids don't fear the Jigga Man. And they're not afraid of Fidel Castro either.

The six dudes of this Miami-based live hip-hop band insists that if they met that despotic bearded madman in the flesh, they would say nothing. Instead they'd rely on pure physical brutality to relay their message.

As for their fans, all they hit them with is music. And with upcoming shows and a new studio album on the way, we here at Crossfade spoke with Problem Kids to find out about stacking chips, freedom of speech, and dying in jail.

[...]

What else has the band done in the past year?
We put out "Useful Idiot," which was our response to Jay Z's trip to Cuba. And people really felt that song, 'cause it's real what our parents and our grandparents went through over there.

Does the band's Cuban heritage come up on the new album?
Yeah, we have a couple new songs about it. One is about Fidel Castro and how he treats the Cuban people. The world doesn't see it, but it's our duty as Cuban Americans to let the world know exactly how Cuba really is.

Like what?
Bro, it's just very poor. And if you're not for the government, there's not much you can do out there. A doctor makes the same as a bus driver. The currency is worthless. I just went on a mission to work at a school. A can of Coke is $2, and a family makes like $20 a month. A can of Coke is a privilege. Here, we take it for granted. But there they have no rights.

What else makes you mad?
If somebody builds a school, the government can go and take it without hesitation. They can take anything from anybody at any time. People go there on vacation while the government is beating women. It's a beautiful country, but people only see the nice beaches, the old cars, and the pretty women on TV. They're stuck on an island.

How was the music?
They have no musical freedom. If it's not what the government deems right, they put you in jail. It's a touchy subject. A bunch of artists have been locked up with no food and are dying in jail for trying to achieve the freedom of speech that we Americans take for granted.

People do escape, though.
Yeah, and it's infuriating that they have to. But at the same time, it feels good that my people came here with literally nothing but the clothes on their back and made something of themselves. That's why our music's not just about material things. It is what it is so that people can appreciate the struggle and connect.

Read the entire interview HERE.

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