An Introduction to Puerto Rico’s Cultura Profética

Puerto Rican band, Cultura Profética, has been bringing acoustic reggae to its audience for over 15 years, in Spanish. Since their 1996 debut, they have recorded five studio albums, one live album (Cultura Profética en Vivo – 2000), a tribute album to Bob Marley (Tribute to the Legend: Bob Marley - 2007) and most recently, they released their 15 Anniversary at Luna Park CD & DVD (2012).

Cultura, as they are usually referred to by their followers, have toured in Puerto Rico, United States, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. They are a well-known band, especially in the Latin American reggae scene. However, to say that they are just a reggae band doesn’t do their music justice. Since their second album Ideas Nuevas (1999), Cultura has been fusing reggae with other genres like jazz, ska, “trova” (folk) and Caribbean rhythms (like salsa), which opened doors for creating a unique sound and their own musical language. Cultura’s independent label, La Mafafa Inc., has proven to be another great achievement. This has allowed them to maintain autonomy of their work, which has given them space to create and reinvent themselves as they please over the years and that, in turn, has led to their continuous success. After years of fighting their way in, their label and music has been recognized alongside bigger and more established labels and artists.

One of the aspects of Cultura’s music-making that first caught the attention of their audience was the fact that their lyrics were refreshing and daring, including themes like current educational, environmental and socio-political issues that affected not only their home country (PR), but that resonated all through Latin American communities. This earned them well deserved accolades. Fans quickly followed, especially since many found their “voice” in Cultura’s songs. Later on, their lyrics evolved to include a wider range of themes such as freedom to be, identity, life events and even some of a romantic nature.

Cultura Profética (Prophetic Culture) has come a long way since their first album Canción de Alerta (1998), recorded at Tuff Gong’s studios in Jamaica (founded by Bob Marley himself in 1965), was released. They have performed many sold-out concerts and massive events in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Latin-America, including the prestigious Luna Park in Argentina. Coming from such a small country not traditionally recognized for its reggae music, it is truly inspiring that they have positioned themselves as one of the best reggae bands in Latin America. Cultura’s success as a band is a testament of their hard work, positive message and great music making. Whether you understand Spanish or not at all, this is one band that speaks to all types of audiences.