#BORIKEMTICS – Volume 1: The Cipher EP Review


Borikemetics Vol. 1 cover#Borikemetics is a crew of edutainment [Education through entertainment as KRS-One revealed in 1990] on an Original people that, as their primary instigative spokesman Papote notes, ‘may be the most influential people in the entire world based on proportion.’  These Original people we must name them, from Puerto Rico, a blend, generally defined, as savaged together by a European oppressor, the Spaniards.  They who charged through the islands of the Caribbean, after having been genetically, spiritually and intellectually civilized by the Islamic Moorish empire for over 700 years, from about 700 to 1400 C.E.  After the most fiendish Spanish Inquisition, the Black-fueled Spain cipher was whitewashed in credit.  Moor no longer meant Black but an old culture and Flamenco went deep in Andalusia as an artifact.  Islamic mosques mathematically erected became the anonymous foundation for unique cathedrals.  All the while, Spain became a world power once they piled the silver dollars from the natives of Bolivia’s Potosi among other places…

Papote BoKem Seven 30

Papote (l. to r.), Bo’Kem & Seven 30

And with such depth of untold stories as that it moves to the Caribbean–Boriken or Puerto Rico, or the rich port, to be exact, became for the Spaniards the place to assault and pillage the native Arawaks of that land.  Eventually, the beautiful merging horrifically continued with Africans brought here as slaves–for the first time involuntarily taken to the Americas–to increase the slave population.  This wonderful synergy of hypocritical oppression from a confused oppressor, rhythmic timing from Black peoples of different meters, timbres and cadences drummed together while the awareness of  centuries of civilization-building of these many Original peoples was eroded.  Lost civilizations of forcibly merged peoples on an island to be tossed from Spain to its current United States of America oppressor.  It is these Black, Brown and Yellow shaded folks with afflictions as deep as their natural talents that become Borikwas, the Puerto Rican people.

So these young men and women of Boriken fight and grow, are slowed and flow and eventually throw away many yokes. One of them was by co-creating Hip Hop music and culture in that true melting pot of the Bronx with Blacks and Browns from myriad worlds.  Another now is #Borikemetics, a diverse collective of Puerto Rican activists, educators, professionals, artists and thinkers, primarily assembled online by Papote El Borike, to promote new ideas (i.e. the serious challenge on the term “Taino” for native indigenous ancestors), unite the movements of struggle among Boricuas and share the Arts.  With the extended EP, primarily produced and starring the multi-talented Supreme Bo’kem Allah (aka Quique Cruz), he puts the voices of the very first Borikemetics lecture/arts show, Volume 1: The Cipher, on to digi-wax.

The most blatant recognitions musically are the excellent sampling of New York City’s first urban genre developed by Puerto Ricans, Salsa.  Specifically, Willie Colon productions featuring Hector Lavoe, el Cantante de los Cantantes, the iconic singer of singers, who was also a powerful, uncompromising voice for Boricuas.  The peak is the edutaining strength of Quique on “Quemalo” sampling  of Lavoe’s soaring Nile Water chants and a blended mix of Divine RBG’s classic freestyle [off  A-Alikes’ I Eat You Eat 2006 LP] on the murder of independista (independence fighter) Filiberto Ojeda Rios’ in 2005 by the FBI.  Lyrically, Quique proves a Move the Crowd vocalist  over the many live versions of the “#Borikemetics: The Anthem” throughout while Seven 30 (The Problem) is the dynamic #Borikemetics Make Chaos lyricist with his call for emancipation for the political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera, locked for over three decades for no other crime but righteously promoting PR’s independence.  Then there is “#HastaPoderVencer” which unites the first bevy of MCs in the #Borikemetics arsenal for longer bars that really give space to ideas of anthemic revolution and drop insightful research markers.  Add ons as “#Throwback” punctuate the ideas of Borikwa roots in Hip Hop as I also had the honor to share thoughts on  with “#CivilizeThem.”  Still, the EP heart is the diversity of our experience highlighted and the need to awaken socially and politically, culturally and spiritually as “#DespiertaBorikwa” champions over a Moon Street/Sun Street guajira break beat.

borikemtics cousinhoodIn the history of compilation work from Puerto Rican freedom fighting artists, this follows 2009’s Puerto Rican Freedom double LP to further lengths.  While this Volume 1: The Cipher is also designed to instigate immediate freedom our political prisoners and advocate the rightful independence of the island, it goes further than that.  #Borikemetics is positioning itself to develop, propose and edutain a more truthful scholarly history of our people and a culture and lifestyle that is not a mere product of gross assimilation and subjugation.  Instead, #Borikemetics gives us their first volume of a cipher they will infuse with artistic innovation and edutaining elevation.