She’s a female of Puerto Rican stock who has diabetes, and her working-class parents grew up and lived in a public housing project in New York City.
Along with being a trailblazing singer, songwriter, rapper and student at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Isa also teaches Puerto Rican folkloric music at the long-running El Arco Iris Center for the Arts in St. Paul. She also teaches a weekly rap class for girls at the Old Arizona cultural center in Minneapolis.
The ferocious bowed bass that introduces “Street Politics,” the title track of Maria Isa’s sophomore album, immediately makes you realize she is far more than just a reggaeton artist. The mature-beyond-her-years 22-year-old, who traces her roots from Puerto Rico to the NuYorican Lower East Side to the West Side of St. Paul, is about to drop an album that expands her sonic palette yet continues to be grounded in messages of organizing and social justice.
I think I’m going to get that CD today!
News with attitude, mostly from MN but with occasional forays abroad.News Day summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to Minnesota news.