Today’s 3 Dope Songs celebrates the work of Chilean emcee Anita Tijoux also known as Ana Tijoux.. She was born in France to two exiled Chilean parents who later returned after the US backed dictator General Augusto Pinochet was disposed.
She is what many would consider an emcee’s emcee.. Her nice, intense, laid back flows are precise, mesmerizing and often laced with social and political commentary..Her popularity is understated..
At almost every show I’ve seen her perform from Austin, Texas to the Bay Area gets sold out, attracting crowds that know every word to her songs, even as she raps in Spanish and French.
She had been grinding away for a minute. Initially it was with the group Makiza who many compared to NY’s famed Native Tongues because of their sound and style.. They made some noise with a couple of underground bangers in the late 90s that made the charts in Chile..The group put out a couple of albums including; ‘Vida Salvaje‘ and ‘Casino Royal‘ which was released in 2005 to rave reviews..
The following year Makiza broke up and Tijoux went solo. In 2009 she became a break star internationally with the release of her album 1977 which proclaims the year of her birth and is mostly autobiographical. Many in the US got their first peak at her when she touched down at SXSW in 2010 and blew up the spot doing songs off that album including the popular jam Sube which was done with Detroit emcee Invincible. The SXSW stop led to her launching a successful US tour..
Since then she’s released two other projects including; Elefant Mixtape and the album La Bala which was nominated for a Grammy. Her music has been featured in the video game FIFA 11 and on the hit TV show Breaking Bad. She was also voted as Best Female Emcee Dominating Mics Everywhere on MTV Iggy…Lastly she’s been part of a campaign for women’s empowerment called Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.
If you don’t know Anita Tijoux, you been missing out.. Check out some her joints below as well our first interview which was done a couple of years ago when I was introduced to her by the group and fellow Chilean emcees Rebel Diaz..
Ana Tijoux w/ Quantic Doo Whop That Thing
This is a recent song from Anita Tijoux where she hooked up with Colombia-based, British-born producer and musician Quantic. Here the two do a dope cover of Lauryn Hill‘s classic hit “Doo Wop (That Thing)” The lyrics are flipped into Spanish by Tijoux, whose understated yet charismatic flow makes her a beguiling vocal presence, along with a Cumbia beat giving an alternative, tropical slant to this landmark jam.
Ana Tijoux Elephant
This is from the mixtape Ana dropped about a year and half ago.. Its a fun video and a warm up to what she had in store on the album LA Bala which would be nominated for a Grammy.
Anita Tijoux Sacar La Voz ft (Jorge Drexler)
This is vintage Ana Tijoux…low key, but powerful and captivating ..It’s an inspiring song about walking proud, being fearless, even if you have ‘nothing in your pockets’ and standing up in the face of oppression.. One of my favorite cuts from her featured on the La Bala album..
Anita Tijoux Shocked
This is one of Ana Tijoux‘s most popular songs to date which she did a couple of years ago to bring attention and support to the massive student strikes that were going on in Chile, which brought millions of people out to the streets but was ignored here in the US..She later re-did an acoustic version of this song in Tuscon, Arizona to bring attention to the plight of undocumented folks and the harsh anti-immigrant SB 1070 laws.. You can peep that video