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The Undeniable Strength Of A Great Song

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The Undeniable Strength Of A Great Song

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The Undeniable Strength Of A Great Song

The Undeniable Strength Of A Great Song

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/338347403/338588190" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Guatemalan rapper Kontra causes a stir at Alt.Latino this week. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Guatemalan rapper Kontra causes a stir at Alt.Latino this week.

Courtesy of the artist

This week, something magical happens when independent thinkers take on pop music that we might normally skip. The Dominican indie musicians Las Acevedo take on the Ricky Martin megahit "She Bangs" in a gloriously unexpected way, reminding us that it's all about the song. An artfully written set of melodies, chords, lyrics and choruses can overcome our biases and still speak to us emotionally — sometimes even physically.

All of our featured artists this week speak to us in distinct musical settings: cumbia, electronica, downtempo and even a 1970s funk remake. It's a powerful reflection of just how broadly Latin music is being expanded, but what all these selections have in common is that they start with the foundation of a good song.

We say this often, but it really is a joy to witness how Latin music is expanding and soaking up every influence in its path without losing authenticity or that cultural sabor that infuses the lives of millions of people in Latin America, Spain and, of course, the U.S.

Pretty heady stuff to think about this week, for sure. And it all began with a Ricky Martin cover.

Guatemalan Rappers, Dominican Crooners And A Peruvian Unicorn Boy

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/npr/altlatsongs/2014/08/20140806_altlatsongs_malas

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Tommy Guerrero

  • Song: Malas Tierras
  • from No Mans land

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Kontra

  • Song: De Noche Y De Dia
  • from KontraTiempo
YouTube

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Ojos Que No Ven

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Helado Negro

  • Song: Ojos Que No Ven
  • from Double Youth

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Chico Unicornio

  • Song: Ahora Te Puedes Marchar
  • from Ahora Te Puedes Marchar
YouTube

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Como Las Movies

  • Song: Mermelada
  • from Feedback Cumbiero
YouTube

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She Bangs

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Las Acevedo

  • Song: She Bangs (Ricky Martin Cover)
  • from Indie Martin

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Maria Del Pilar

  • Song: Miss Funeral
  • from Songs And Canciones I
YouTube

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Hector Guerra

  • Song: Fantazy
  • from Fantazy
YouTube

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