Choc Quib Town
To be black and Colombian is no easy fate: The country seems intent on ignoring the fact that 20 percent of Colombians claim African ancestry. But a decade into its career, ChocQuibTown is changing all that. The members hail from Colombia's Pacific Coast, and their biggest hit, "Somos Pacificos," names and celebrates Colombia's often invisible Afro-Colombian minority, many of whom live on the Pacific coast and in a slice of Amazonian rain forest. (The group named itself for its region, Choco, and regional capital, Quibdo.) Some have dubbed them the Afro-Colombian Fugees, but Oro proves ChocQuibTown is in fact much more interesting than that, stewing in humid rhythms and beguiling us with its casual use of funk, rock, hip-hop and salsa to get its point across. What is that point? It's something to do with breaking silence, breaking down barriers, asserting your place in the world -- and doing it with a smile rather than a dagger.