Review La Dame Blanche – ELLA
Yaite Ramos Rodriguez a.k.a La Dame Blanche is in full evolution. Her transformation is clear when comparing 2018’s Bajo El Mismo Cielo to her latest, ELLA. Musically, the Cuban rapper exceeds expectations. She seems looser, scaling back her dense flows. She is also more versatile in her interpretations, creating personas to accompany the different rhythmic variations without ever losing fluidity.
The combinations of rap with dancehall, cumbia, ragga and various Latin elements show the roots of the singer, who is also a flautist, percussionist and daughter of Jesus “Aguaje” Ramos, trombonist and director of Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club. Her sonic influences create the perfect environment for La Dame Blanche to celebrate the lives of women who have influenced her, especially her mother, while also stepping out of her father’s shadow. “My father is a person I always wanted to impress… everyone knows me as his daughter and that is one of the reasons why this album is called ELLA (SHE)”, she says.
Indeed, the 10 songs that make up the LP give a voice to women from all over the world. It’s about their power to choose what they want to be, about their feelings, desires and sexual freedom. Highlights include “La Mentalista”, “La Maltratada”, “La Americana”, “La Incondicional”, “La Creyente”. They deal with themes related to domestic violence – aggravated by social isolation during the pandemic -, the self-affirmation of identity, spirituality and social and environmental causes, including the fires and deforestation that are devastating the Brazilian Amazon.
The ideas are all well conceived and delivered. This is not an exclusive journey for women. Blanche explores profound issues surrounding the different ways of being an Afro-Cuban woman in today’s world. These are songs to strengthen women, emphasising autonomy and showing that men need to review their concepts on various issues. ELLA is more than essential in this moment we currently find ourselves.
ELLA is released by Nacional Records and out now
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