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Cuba based rap duo, Zona Franka, blends traditional rhythms with the grit and swagger of hip-hop and rap vocal phrasings. Their clever shout choruses create instant tropical dance classics using their unique self-titled "changui con flow" style.
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SpanishEnglishPt. 3 - Song by Song - 10. Pa' lo que me importa a mí

Pa' lo que me importa a mí
(Soy Como Soy)
by: David Calzado & J. Tropical
[click here for full lyrics and analysis of form]

If "Le Mentí" is bit of a patchwork of different genres, "Pa'lo que me importa a mí" is a seamless flow of musical brilliance. In many salsa and timba tracks, you can "hear the arranger thinking" -- "let's trying mixing a bit of this with a bit of that" -- "okay, we'll throw in a mambo and then go to a shortened version of the first coro...". But with "Pa' lo que me importa a mí", like so many of Charanga Habanera's best pieces, concepts like genre and arranging techniques are irrelevant... each musical idea grows organically from the one before it. It's easily one of Calzado's best arrangements and one of the band's most masterful performances. They had played it hundreds of times at rehearsals and gigs before going into the studio and this version has the electrifying feeling of a live concert. To top it off, Tirso Duarte turns in one of the best vocal performances ever recorded on a Timba album -- effortlessly combining complex chromatic melodies with raw, fiery rap.

The singer is Duarte, but once again protagonist of the lyrics appears to be David Calzado, launching his final salvo in "La Guerra de las Charangas".

The horn introduction and cuerpo take only 54 seconds between them, but are full of memorable hooks and are musically well-balanced with the rest of the track. Like many of Charanga Habanera's best songs, the first breakdown explodes out of the end of the cuerpo. Listen to the way Tirso stirs up the rhythm by starting his rap by developing the last phrase of the cuerpo. [audio example 72]

All of the coros, guías and mambos are built on a single tumbao [audio example 73] In his first set of guías, after a wicked bloque, Tirso sings elaborate chromatic melodies like this:

dicen que están
hablando sólos comentando
de tí, de mí, de aquel
y no es que sea mi problema
es que ya no aguanto más

and then follows them up perfectly with hard-swinging phrases like this:

que los oídos me suenan, mamá [audio example 74]

In this next passage, listen to the way the flow of melody continues through Tirso's guías to the inspired melody of the brass in the mambo. [audio example 75]

But the key to Duarte's performance is his rhythm -- the way he whips the band into a frenzy, jabbing and sparring with Yulién's explosive timbale fills -- setting the stage so he can drop in the next dark, soaring, classically-inspired melodic phrase. [audio example 76]

Tuesday, 20 March 2018, 02:48 AM