Video: Rita Indiana y Los Misterios - "Da Pa Lo Do"

Exactly one year ago, upon the much-lauded arrival of Rita Indiana’s debut album El Juidero, CF published a five-star review for an album that is already transcending marvelously. For those of us who are not too persuaded about Calle 13’s scratchy and ultimately over-sentimental “Latinoamérica” (which is still way better than Maná's "Latinoamérica"), Rita Indiana y Los Misterios' “Da Pa Lo Do” provided us with last year’s most poignant political piece. In his review of the album, Carlos Reyes described this particular piece as one that would ridicule the Vampire Weekend indie-tropical hipsteria and hit the nail on the head, calling it “a bona fide piece of tropical bravura.” The stunning track with the stunning strings and the wounding palos has a wonderful video helmed by Engel Leonardo. This time around we’re taken to a land of faith, borders, and brotherhood, where the roads are redirected by the wind itself, and Rita Indiana makes a Marian apparition as a Blessed Virgin Mary. This is a video that excels in proportions, colors, and especially in the narrative of its rhythm. Yet another knockout in Rita Indiana’s treasure of stimulating aesthetics.


  1. cool song! remains me of two Cafe Tacuba songs for some reason even though they have nothing to do with this one. La negrita with Fin de la Infancia

  2. i fu#&%! LOVE this track!!!!!!

  3. making blackface cool again, awesome--------not. i'm guessing blackface doesn't have the same baggage over in D.R. but stilll....and, hey, fonogramers, you love to portray yourselves as cultural commentators, why do you shun away from discussing this issue -- please don't give me that crap, like, "we're just little kids wanting to have fun, we can't be held accountable for anything"...this is a heavily political age. step up.

  4. ok... there's something to be said about rita's "light-skin" privelege (i.e privelege to do black face). The controversy recalls the time when beyonce doing black to look more "african" for a photoshoot.

    It's a little bit obvious to do an african-inspired video for the most afro-pop track in the album, but maybe that's a good thing. Also it's always to be reminded where the roots of merengue is.

    Nonetheless, The black (or darker skinned) virgin mary IS the focus of the narrative. I stand by the statement of the video which is reclaiming the african identity for the people of the diaspora against centuries of opression (i.e the introduction of catholicism). And that includes Rita herself.

    I am not black, or from the DR. So i might be talking out of my ass. I am a dark skinned asian from indonesia living in the states, I guess I would be pissed if a light skinned asian artist donned a black face. Still, Rita is one baddassss bitch and Bitch better work!!!!

    Nb. I am disappointed you guys failed to talk about the blackface.

    Nb.#2 I've been trying to find/start tribal guarachero appreciation night in new york. Anyone wanna join me in my search?

  5. i agree with the comments above. choosing to promote this video while not at the very least acknowledging its potential problematic aspects makes club fonograma complicit in the reproduction of denigrating images of black folks. i'm not saying you should come out against the video, all i am saying is that you have to add a bit of reflection to your note...i understand the issue is a complex one given the differing meanings of blackness across the world...but you can't just post something like this and pretend its all fine because she is indie royalty. bull shit.

  6. Jean-Stephane BeriotOctober 29, 2011 at 12:02 AM

    Chillout peeps. As the ONLY BLACK PERSON in the club fonograma staff I stepped up to write about it and I have my reasons for not going on with the 'black thing' on this, but I gotta say it's yet another hot topic in which people are appropriating to a cause without much substance really. Oh well, we live in the ultimate black/white era. I'm not saying I'm not acknowledging this obvious commentary, but I choose not to SENSATIONALIZE it. That's exactly why I started my little blurb criticizing Calle 13's SPIT ON YOUR FACE song/video ("Latinoamerica") in the first place.

  7. how is discussing this obvious issue in your original text the same as "sensationalizing" it. nuanced, sophisticated, well-informed texts, is what this blog is known for. couldn't you offer something akin to that here? and how is criticizing calle 13 and mana a stand in for offering a reading regarding the blackface? makes no sense. precisely because this is a heavily political era as someone said, this post did require some sort of deeper analysis. again, i am not saying you should come out against the video, you could very well 'defend it' --- but that's exactly the point, a video like requires can't simply post it without any attempt to make sense of this issue...that is to by default accept the reproduction of cartoonish images of a sector of the population -- images, by the way, that in the U.S. at least have a long history of being used to justify oppression. so it's not that people are troubled about a non-issue as you claim, i think you are choosing to sweep this existing issue under the rug...i am not sure why but you are doing it. so, yes, STEP UP.

  8. With all due respect to my fellow writer, Jean-Stephane, those who have expressed confusion and disappointment over the failure to address the use of blackface make valid points that merit a response. He must have his reasons for choosing not to discuss such a charged image and, while he doesn't have to disclose them or justify himself in any way, I don't think telling commenters to "chill out" was an appropriate response. Their reactions are legitimate and should be taken seriously. Again, I have nothing but respect for Jean-Stephane, and I hope he takes the time to respond to the questions that have been raised.

  9. Jean-Stephane BeriotOctober 30, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    First. Let me apologize to Blanca, or anyone for that “chill out” response. At the moment I did not see it as a sort of “shut up and sing” comment, but I realize it totally is. I know this is already sounding like a semi-personal, correct, corporate/political response, but let me try and explain myself a bit more. You guys at the very least deserve that. Although many see my ‘negligence’ to tackle on the black face image as a disappointment and a failure, I still have the right to say I’m in piece with myself for not doing it so. But because I have made it obvious that I am in fact, sweeping the issue under my own rug (but not entirely because I purposely mention Mana's/Calle13's squashed "Latinoamericas" as the seemingly all-comprehensive, but not comprehensive at all socialpolitical misfires, which obviously include race), I will explain “my reasons” for not going into this very obvious commentary.
    Like I mentioned, I am a black ‘dude.’ Born in France, but growing up in Chile and Argentina exposed me to a lot. I’m not sure if it’s the same for all black kids in Latin America, but I can say that in my life, I was the weird-looking, ONLY black kid on the neighborhood, heck, probably even the city. And I know it seems like I’m taking this discussion to my own life (and running away from the issue even more), but I’m defending my right to handle the video the way I did. When you’ve been as pointed out throughout life as I have, I guess topics like this desensitize you. The word “obvious” has come up on virtually every comment in here, and it’s crucial in understanding my stance. When something is as obvious as the black makeup in Rita’s face, I do not see a reason for me to interlude. However, if any racial commentary had been made through other, perhaps more hidden ‘sensibilities’, I would have made myself be heard, probably in a very loud manner.
    I respect everyone’s approaches to the subject (because I know we all have different backgrounds), but I see the intensification of something so obvious as a form of sensationalizing it. Especially when other people appropriate to a certain cause (this is not directed to any of you, but you have to realize there are a lot of truly denigrating, TheBlindeSide-narrative stories around). So when someone accuses me of being a ‘an accomplice’ in the wrongful representation of black folks, it’s hard to ‘step it up.’ I won’t necessarily say I was offended by that, but being accused of hurting your own race is denigrating (unlike anything that’s portrayed/suggested on the video). I’m sure all of your hearts are in the right place and you have the right to speak your mind, but not to call on the denigrating part of one's morale, whether is mine or that of the video's director. I’m not saying I’m allowed to ‘dismiss’ the issue because of my color, but I am defending my own personal right to do so.