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Vivir para Contarlo

Violadores del Verso

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Album Review

Showing a level of maturity reserved for much older bands, Violadores del Verso didn't let themselves be swept away by the huge expectations after their brilliant 2001 Vicios y Virtudes, and waited a reasonable length of time to encourage anticipation (something rarely practiced nowadays) and, above all, to create a work that would live up to that effort. Vivir para Contarlo is the result, and it achieved a commercial success never before seen in Spanish rap: number one sales, a Gold Album Award (more than 60.000 copies sold), best hip-hop album in the XI Edición de los Premios de la Música, MTV's 2007 Best Spanish Act, and a worldwide tour. Nevertheless, the band's major achievement is maintaining their reputation as a world-class rap group, embodying a U.S. east coast rap aura thanks to their lyrical agility, multi-syllabic rhymes, and complex metaphors over grave beats. The name of the album itself, Vivir para Contarlo ("To Live to Tell About It") illustrates the narrative level which the quartet from Zaragoza has reached, leaving behind unnecessary moral lessons and non-convincing rivalries, focusing their compositions on the writing abilities as a way of life: "Pero la pasta no cae del cielo/Yo hago canciones preciosas con lo que me encuentro por el suelo" (But the dough doesn't fall from heaven/I make songs with what I find on the ground). And songs like "Ocho Lineas," "Cantando," "Vivir para Contarlo," or "No Somos Ciegos" border on excellence, mastering the use of metaphors with a remarkable absence of proper names and choruses increasing the symbolism and the unpredictability of rhymes, all over heavy and austere bases which transmit the magnitude of profound words: "Y la que quiso amor, amor quise darle/Yo no iba a dejar de respirar porque el viento pudiera enfadarle" ("And the one who wanted love, the love I gave her/I was not going to stop breathing because the wind could annoy her"). Corroborating what was anticipated years back, with "only" three albums over their career to date, Violadores del Verso has, deservedly, become the most admired and acclaimed rap band in Spanish history — maybe because they know, better than any other players, that rap is only worth something when it comes from deep within: "Pero lo admirable no está en lo que vivo, está en lo que cuento/Aprendí que aquí y ahora es el momento, que echarse una novia es un gran invento y que, cada vez más, el hip-hop exige sentimiento" ("Nevertheless, the admirable thing is not what I live but what I tell/I learned that here and now is the moment, that having a girlfriend is a great thing and that, more and more, hip-hop demands sentiment).

Biography

Formed: 1997

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Latin rap foursome Violadores del Verso, also known as Doble V, got involved in the Spanish hip-hop scene in 1997 after Kase-O (Javier Ibarra) and former members of Bufank and el Aborto de la Música — Liriko (David Gilaberte), R de Rumba (Rubén Cuevas), and Sho-hai (Sergio Rodríguez, aka Hate) — decided to create a new project. In 1998, Violadores del Verso released a self-titled EP, sampling jazz and electric...
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Vivir para Contarlo, Violadores del Verso
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