Mizik Rasin: An Introduction
On Thursday, August 29, international superstars Boukman Eksperyans brings their blend of Haitian rhythms, rock, and reggae to the David Rubenstein Atrium for a free show that will have you on your feet all night long. We invited Cynthia Karaha to help us get ready with this essential Mizik Rasin ("roots music") playlist.
Cynthia Karaha: Rasin is a style of music from Haiti that started in the 1970s and uses elements of traditional Haitian Vodou rhythms under the Rada & Petro rites, folkloric music, and rock and roll. More than music, the Rasin movement began as a way to fight back against the shackle of dictatorial oppression in Haiti, where freedom of expression was forbidden. Boukman Eksperyans is one of the pioneers of the Rasin movement, and many of their lyrics tackle injustice. The style of music was co-opted by the dictatorship to scare and control the population, and for a very long time, Mizik Rasin was censored by the Haitian military, and anyone associated with the genre could be arrested and jailed at any time. The Rasin movement encouraged a generation of activists, and wrested control of the music's narrative from those in power. Over the last two decades, as Mizik Rasin became more popular and less of a threat to political power, there was a brief decrease in new productions. But in the last couple of years, a new surge of young Haitian artists mixing traditional Haitian Vodou rhythms with rap, hip-hop, pop, Afrobeat, and trap are reviving the Rasin movement.
"Ke m Pa Sote" by Boukman Eksperyans
"Sa'n pa wè yo" by Ram
"Bann Sa Pi Bon" by Jahman
"Pale Pale w" by Boukan Ginen
"Samba Move" by Racine Mapou de Azor
"Bade (An Invocation)" by Rara Machine
"Pèpè Yè" by Boukman Eksperyans
New Generation "Rasin," with rap, pop, and hip-hop influence
"Gaya" by Michael Brun X Lakou Mizik (featuring J. Perry)
"Veve Lokal" by Niska (featuring Lolo de Boukman Eksperyans)
"Ezili" by Paul Beaubrun
"Sele Bride" by Dener Ceide
"Tanbou" by Freedom
And a Few More Just Because...
Neg Anwo by Boukan Ginen
"Ibo Lele (Dreams Come True)" by RAM
"Yawé" by Steve Brunache
"Sa W Fe Pou Yo" by Lataye and Dadi Beaubrun
Cynthia Karaha is the Founder and CEO of World Music Promotions, which supports Caribbean and Afro-music artists on a global level. As a general manger, Karaha is currently working with internationally known, socially conscious Haitian singer-songwriter BélO. She is also manager and visual director of Nadia Dieudonné & Feet of Rhythm, a Haitian folkloric dance company.