The hip-hop artist restoring pride to the language of the Inca empire

The hip-hop artist restoring pride to the language of the Inca empire

Renata Flores has brought the future of music back to the past by rapping in her indigenous language, bringing her Quechua culture to the forefront of pop media.

Renata Flores
Beautiful News

Language is intrinsic to culture. Peruvian-born Renata Flores understands this firsthand. Eight million people across South America speak Quechua, the language of the Inca empire. But its words are losing their worth. Quechua has little media presence and is often disregarded in urban spaces. To bring her heritage to the forefront, Flores is reviving the language with trap and hip-hop

“I was sad to see the discrimination to my grandmother when she spoke Quechua,” Flores says. A stigma has formed around the language, and it’s seen as a dialect spoken by people in impoverished areas. But with contemporary songs, the 19-year-old musician is reinstilling pride in Quechua. While the language may descend from the Peruvian Andes, Flores gives it global resonance by blending it with modern genres.

Flores’ songs have since gone viral. “My music has given me an opportunity to rescue my heritage,” she says. With thousands of fans, she’s changing the way people perceive and value Quechua. “When we connect our craft to our culture, it’s enriched by our ancestors and their histories,” Flores says.

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