CHOCQUIBTOWN: Somos Pacificos! Hip Hop Ain’t Dead in Colombia (not Columbia)

Gloria "Goyo", Slow, and Tostao of ChocQuibTown



Did I ever tell you all how much I love black culture?  Allrightee then!  So imagine my excitement to find this fantastic rapping group from Colombia!  Thanks to my young friend, Sojourner Ahebee of Sojo’s Trumpet Blog!  A few weeks back, I did a post entitled “What A Warrior Girl Looks Like” to introduce Sojourner and all her wisdom to you all.  This girl is NOT to be slept on!  She’s a highly intelligent young woman with a deep appreciation for black culture!   In the article I asked if a young girl can teach a grown woman anything.  Answer:  A resounding YES!   She introduced me to my black folks in Columbia by posting on the rap group, Choc Quib Town.  Much love and respect to young Lady Sojo! 

Soooo, who is this fantastic rap group?  Choc Quib Town are a group of three rappers–lead by Gloria “Goyo”, her younger brother, “Slow” and their friend Tostao.  They are putting Colombia’s Pacific on the map, with their jazzy, upbeat blend of Colombian Pacific coast rhythms and salsa fused with hip-hop and funk.   Their lyrics speak of Afro-Colombian identity, political corruption and the often harsh realities of living in the remote jungle-clad corner of Colombia they call home:   El Chocó, Quibdo, Columbia   


Map of El Choco, Quibdo, Colombia, home of many Afro Colombianos

Music was central to all their lives growing up. ‘I’ve always loved music but I didn’t study it in any formal way,’ reveals Tostao. ‘Salsa was my first love. And, of course, folklore. Folklore music is all around you in the Chocó and it’s not about whether you like it or you don’t, you grow up with it and you’ve got it inside you, it’s the music of your hometown.’ 

Tostao recalls the exciting new stream of urban music that reached the Chocó from Panama.  “Now we talk about rap and other types of urban music but at that time in my town, it was simply known as reggae en español.  It was like urban flow but it didn’t come from Jamaica or the US but  from Panama”.  Read more here: 


A mi tierrra llego un fulano
llevandose todo mi oro
a mi tierrra llego un fulano
llevandose todo mi oro 

vestido de blanco entero
y con acento extrangero
prometio a cambio de oro
dejarme mucho dinero
el tipo de kien les hablo
nunca mas aparecio
cogio mi metal precioso
y todo se lo llevo 

ladron te fuiste
con mi oro
y me dejaste
sin mi oro 


Somos pacífico, estamos unidos
Nos une la región
La pinta, la raza y el don del sabor
Somos pacífico, estamos unidos
Nos une la región
La pinta, la raza y el don del sabor 

Ok! Si por si acaso usted no conoce
En el pacífico hay de todo para que goce
Cantadores, colores, buenos sabores
Y muchos santos para que adores 

Es toda una conexión
Con un corrillo chocó, valle, cauca
Y mis paisanos de Nariño
Todo este repertorio me produce orgullo
Y si somos tantos
Porque estamos tan al cucho (* en la esquina) 

Bueno, dejemos ese punto a un lado
Hay gente trabajando pero son contados (7-14-21)
Allá rastrillan, hablan jerguiados
Te preguntan si no has janguiado (hanging out)
Si estas queda’o
Si lo has copiado, lo has vacilado
Si dejaste al que está malo o te lo has rumbeado 

Hay mucha calentura en Buenaventura
Y si sos chocoano sos arrecho por cultura, ey! 



Yo no me como ese pescao así sea del
Ese pescao envenenao ése no lo como yo
Mucho ojo mi gente que quieren envenenarte la cabeza
Con pescao malo en la mesa
pero eso a mí no me estresa
Ojo mucho ojo que el tráfico de influencias
De gente que sin decencia
quieren verte en decadencia 

Porque la envidia es mala
La gente sale con vainas raras –¡eh!–
problemas traen balas
La próxima vez te doy en la cara
Por darme tu pescao envenenao te llevo en
la mala
Saca las manos de mi bolsillo, no me vas
a tumbar
Con ese cuento tan raro no me vas a robar
A otro perro con ese hueso, te rompo la
boca y allí no ponen yeso
¿Dices que produces más que quien? ¿Que
el mejor?
Sabiendo que lo que te doy es puro sabor
Si algún día te llame sonero
Hoy eres peor que político embustero

What I like about Chocquibtown is that they have an excellent rap flow!! They are GOOD!  My spanish is weak.  I would need to slow down the tape and isolate each word to catch more than the 20% that I’m understanding, but I don’t need to know Spanish at all to be able to hear the excellent flow of these rappers!  All three are good.  And another thing:  They are lead by Gloria!  When we here in North America are doing documentaries about where have the lady rappers gone, Sista Gloria is rapping and heading the group and doing her thing–looking beautiful, being herself, and representing her town!  The brothers in the group don’t seem to have a problem with it.   North America: hint, hint.  They are already placed in a position of being role models to other Afro Columbianos! 

A little history:  The Choco is 80% Afro Columbian and has a lot of poverty.  But they are also are very steeped in their African culture, and are very proud of it.  I found a report, actually a speech given by Luis Gilberto Murillo, former governor of Choco State, Colombia, when he was invited to New York by the American Museum of Natural History, The Columbia Media Project and The Caribbean Cultural Center back in February 2001!  In it he talks about the state of The Choco Region and what the black people there have faced over the years.  A sidenote:  It’s so interesting to me how we can hear about Shakira and her Columbian hips, but know nothing at all of the huge population of  black people living and struggling in Columbia!!  (Nothing against Shakira) 


De donde vengo yo
La cosa no es fácil pero siempre igual sobrevivimos
Vengo yo
De tanto luchar siempre con la nuestra nos salimos
Vengo yo
Y aquí se habla mal pero todo está mucho mejor
Vengo yo
Tenemos la lluvia el frio el calor

De la zona de los rapi mami papi
Tenemos problemas pero andamos happy
Comparsa también bailamos salsa
Y bajamos el rio en balsa
El calor se siente eeeh…
Y no hay problema pa’ tomase su botella de aguardiente
Hace días que soliaos te la pasas enguayabado 

Todo el mundo toma whisky… aja
Todo el mundo anda en moto… aja
Todo el mundo tiene carro… aja
Menos nosotros… aja
Todo el mundo come pollo… aja
Todo el mundo está embambado… aja
Todo mundo quiere irse de aquí
Pero ninguno lo ha logrado 

So against this backdrop of poverty and struggle, up comes the phoenix that is the young people of Chocquibtown!   They are well loved and are fast becoming an international rap group and their talent cannot be denied.  I’m sure that there are many others who are working against the odds of oppresion, poverty and a forced invisibility.  I wish them even greater success!  Tengo mucho orgullo en mi gente Afro-Columbiano!  Tengo mucho orgullo en mi gente Africano mundial! 

Hot DAYUM!  There we black folks go again!!  Doing the damned thing!

27 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for the knowledge and new found wisdom as always!

  2. Ensayn says:

    Anna Renee, this is fyah! I love their sound. I will be buying their music. I did not know of this area in Columbia at all. My son went to Columbia last summer and he said “dad every time I turned around, the people kept talking to me in Spanish and they kept asking is I was Columbian…” We laughed but I told him he really needs to get his spanish down, especially since his wife is a Black Guatamalan and they will have children one day. Thanks for this info.

    1. Anna Renee says:


      1. paca says:

        to anna renee”;; its ok anna ,,now you know about colombia ,,you just do your part i hope god bless you one day,,please have oprah winfrey or tom joyner to know about chocquictown and these videos,,just do your part, here in the states cuz im telling this group rules,,,,,im from buenaventura also pacific coast ,,we are original blacks,,no narrow minded,,its like when some body is stealing something and the stolen goods come out off the bag in front of the police officer,,no excuse for my people to be oppressed liked that thanks anna r.

      2. paca says:

        anna renee there is another rap ,,reggae group from the atlantic coast of colombia their name is ”profetas” just the way you see it, anna,, check it out on you tube videos ,,,check the songs ”’baila”’ ”amor y fortaleza”’,”,africolombia”’,,and many more you will love it anna,, colombia aint no joke”..also check joe arroyo,,name of the son ”rebelion”,on you tube,,,also anna check in you tube these frase ”’palenqueras bailando mapale”” ”prende la vela”’ ,,,,rembember im here to help you with your mission,,, reply later …

        1. Anna Renee says:

          Welcome to Paco!! A true Afro Colombiano! Thank you for the information about Profetas, I’ll be posting some of their videos in the near future, as well as videos by Obsesion, our Afro Cubano brother and sister!!!

  3. Ensayn says:

    Check the husband and wife team out of La Habana, Cuba. I found them last year. I hope you enjoy.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      GRACIAS! 🙂

    2. Anna Renee says:


    3. paca says:

      simplemente good ,,,saludos desde houston texas,,de un colombian pacific,,buenaventura valle,,ya se juntan con chocquibtown is just a matter of time no dout,, ””dios los cria y ellos se juntan,, anna renee you will see.

  4. Ensayn says:

    Tenemos que hablando Espanol, because its the second most widely spoken idioma por Morenos en el mundo, behind Swahili. LOL see I need una maestra o maestro!

  5. Anna Renee says:

    So…Morenos no hablan ingles primero? Por que estamos muy ignorantes de nuestros hermanos en otros paises? Por que?

    I’ve got my spanish language cds and I play them on my way to and from work!
    When I’m reading Spanish, my understanding is about 60 percent or more with a dictionary.
    When I listen to people speaking my understanding drops to about 20 percent! I only hear words here and there with no understanding of what’s being said.
    It’s time to listen to the many spanish language tv shows I have access to! And spanish radio talk shows too.

  6. Ensayn says:

    Anna Renee the same for me on the language. I can read better than understand a convo. I think at this point I need total emersion for about 6 months.
    Yes, the Organization of African Union about 5 years ago voted to have Swahili their number one language and Spanaish as the second official language because Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world by Black people.

    1. N3 says:

      Thanks for the wisdom may many positive and prosperous bless flow unto your life.

  7. fizz says:

    wow hip hop is far reaching! that was great! blessings

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Yes it is, Fizz!
      Young black people throughout the world especially are very attracted to the original spirit of hip hop!
      And of course young people of other races are attracted as well!

  8. Dr. LS says:

    Positive music = positive mantra = positive actions and peaceful thoughts…..Why do you think Jazz lovers are so calm?

  9. paca says:

    let me tell you we afro-colombians are becoming more open minded ,,no fear is like we are on a mission to get back to the roots ,,no one cant stop us now,tus rices,,”’your roots ”thats all you got,the greaters gift to give to your children,,ya basta colombia been hiding us for too long,,colombia is not only shakira,juanes or ballenatos ,, no no senor there is one big africa inside colombia too.”””and the whole wide world is gonna know about it.”””””.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      I love your enthusiasm, Paco!! Viva El Choco!! Let the Afro Colombianos rise up and rule!

  10. Maria says:

    I like your article , and how you talk about Colombia and how this group is making a difference in the world…. but just one thing.
    ITS COLOMBIA* not columbia.
    As a colombian, this upsets me very much. I mean come on, you couldnt have gone on google and searhed up Colombia?
    You probably thought it was spelled like how they spell it in BC, British Columbia, but its not.
    Get the main facts straight please.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Hi there, Maria! Thanks for reading my article on this fantastic group ChocQuibTown! I doubt, tho that you read my article, because in the first sentence, the country is spelled correctly. And I believe I deserve credit for that, if the spelling of the country is “the main facts”.

      But I thought the “main facts” were that the group have magnificent rappers. I thought the “main facts” were that the group is headed by a woman! I thought the main facts were that the group is black! Afro Colombianos (is that the correct spelling)?
      I thought that the main facts were that they celebrate their black culture and expose corruption and speak the truth from their perspective and that they have gone so far as to win a Latin Grammy!!!? That they create beautiful music?

      As a matter of fact I did go on Google. That’s how I learned of all that these young talented Africans have accomplished!!! But, you’re right. I was thinking Colombia is spelled like they do in BC. How did you guess?

      But maybe those things I think are the main facts maybe they arent. And maybe you’re right and the only thing that matters is the letter “o” , not the letter “u” is used in the spelling.
      OK. Thanks for setting me straight. Gracias, mi amiga!

    2. Anna Renee says:

      Was it you, Maria, who came to this blog using the search terms “who is Chocquibtown” ????

      You didn’t know who they were? Colombiana?

      Sorry for being so petty. Nuff said on this one.

      1. Maria says:

        Actually I was doing some research on them, and yes I did type who is ChoQuibTown? Knowing that I live in Canada, you’re right; I don’t really know most of the music groups that come from Colombia, which is why I research them up. Though your article was actually pretty informing and educational (don’t get me wrong the main fact was about where they come, what they sing about, and how they are affecting the media and becoming popular) it was my mistake for not reading it well. But since you did spell it right in the first line…why not the second or third? With all the stereotypes coming from so many people about Colombia, I should be proud about this group, and I am. I just HATE it when people ask me if I am from Columbia. Would you like it? Aren’t you proud of where you come from? What if I made a whole article (blog, ect) about something important about your tiny country (if it is tiny?) who has had a lot of bad media, and spelled the country’s name wrong? Wouldn’t that make you feel bad, that a lot of people who read this article (blog) would know that from where this amazing group came from is Columbia, and not COLOMBIA? I am PROUD to be from there, I adore Colombia with its faults. I think it’s beautiful, and I’m sure where you come from is beautiful. I think a lot of people would hate that if it happened to them. You’re right, I’m not so pretty, but I’m proud.
        Thanks Anna Rennee

        1. Anna Renee says:

          I guess I kept mispelling it because in North America, it is spelled with a “U”. But I’m cognizant that in Spanish, it’s spelled with an “O”. I was more focused on who the youngsters are, and not on my correct spelling so I accidentally fell back on my native spelling.
          Never, if you read my blog, will you read anything disparaging about other cultures, especially black cultures. But I’m from North America and must admit that some habits are harder to break such as my habit of spelling.
          But Pride in the Culture is the Main thing, and I try to show the pride that the people have, in spite of difficulties and hardships. I can understand being sensitive to others’ insensitivity and ignorance.

          My focus is Black culture wherever our people are. I hope you return!

          Blessings to you Maria

  11. Maria says:

    And I keep reading what you write back to me wrong, plus i never said you were petty, it just angers me you know? Having something to be so proud of, that oneperson makes little mistake and people who read this will think its from columbia?
    Its probably just me, but I jyst needed to get it out.
    Sorry for bothering, and thanks again for the infromation, it was helpful.

  12. LaMuneca says:

    If you got to Choco, Tumaco, Buenaventura, and other islands in Colombia you would feel like you have gone to the mother land Africa! I You feel at home. Don’t be afraid. Visit Colombia. Your black family awaits you with open arms. Q Viva Colombia para siempre

    1. Anna Renee says:


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