La Barzola, a neighborhood in Seville, Spain, is home to a diverse population of working-class families, many of whom are immigrants, with the pulse of communal and creative resistance running through their veins. The heart of the neighborhood is Plaza Manuel Garrido, a public park and social bond. And in that space is a basketball court that a group of budding rappers call their own.
Hip-hop was born 50 years ago from the rubble of urban distress in the Bronx, an act of resistance and expression by the most vulnerable in society. Today, music is everywhere: a multi-billion dollar ecosystem. But it also remains a deeply personal form of expression, including for the young men of this community.
“No matter how much pain, anger or frustrations we harbor from our daily experiences, music allows us to dig into those things and make them into something useful,” said Zakaria Mourachid, 21, who does music under the name of Zaca 3K. “We vent our anger on music. We turn our tears into rhymes because it allows us to feel free in a world that creates barriers around us every day.
Much like the creators of hip-hop, the rappers in this collective base their material on their personal stories.
“Overcoming immigration, overcoming the obligation to leave one’s country of origin, overcoming the separation of our families and overcoming the loss of those we meet who may or may not continue the journey with us.