L.A. homies Ozomatli are all about ‘Libertad’ in new jam (videos, lyrics)

I finally saw Ozomatli perform in my San Diego barrio Friday, after years of declaring that I wouldn’t miss their next show. (Shoutout to Barrio Network for the tickets.)

I was already expecting a great show from this band I have been following for years, and was extra stoked since we would be treated with their new single Libertad.

The venue was crowded, everyone in attendance was eager to see the Ozos perform. (Boss man Lalo had told me that the band’s live performances do not disappoint, and indeed it was a riot to see them live.

Noticing the reactions of the crowd around me, Ozomatli’s music resonated with them at a personal level.

For me, hearing Cut Chemist Suite, Cumbia de los Muertos, and Saturday Night took me back to the days where I dreamed about the life I currently have.

Two activities that bring fond memories of my formative years in high school were collecting La Cucaracha comic strips from the newspapers, and listening to Ozomatli in my cheap counterfeit MP3 player.

Both activities resonated with me because I was looking for an identity, seeking proof that I could succeed as an American without having to turn my back on my roots and my culture. Through my art I made a stand for my identity, and I wanted my musical taste to reflect the same. I came across the band after searching the Internet for Latino and Chicano bands to add some variety to my playlist dominated by Rage Against the Machine and The Casualties.

The name Ozomatli caught my eye for name (Ozomatli means monkey in Nahuatl, an animal associated with arts and music). What Ozomatli’s music lacked in distorted guitars and f-bombs, they made up with cumbia, reggae, and hip-hop influences that made each Ozo song unique and special. Lyrically their music mixed party anthems with resistance songs. After all, what’s a revolution without a little party in the mix?

Sometimes it seems like yesterday when I discovered Ozomatli, but the band has been around since 1995. After witnessing their energetic performance live, I am very confident that we will have more Ozomatli for years to come.

Libertad was a treat to listen live, and I can’t wait to listen to what comes next. Gracias Ozomatli, y que siga la fiesta!

Mira las palabras:

Intro Chorus:
“Canta, no llores
Librate de dolores
Faltan amores
No te empeores-no”
Chali Verse 1:
Destructive habits cause an
Influx of garbage
instructions vanish
Now in comes the carnage
Unless the chains broken
I’m hoping
That if a 20 year vet with cigarettes can
Refrain from chain smoking
The lanes remain open for change
It’s Simple as that
Medicinal music
Keeps your mental intact
Eliminates the waste &
The faceless and homeless effected by
Fights against poverty
Helps integrity
Music can
Melt the cob webs of
Self depravity
If you can withstand
This Negative quicksand
Then let this be the theme song to the resistance , Yo!!
It’s not about
Abundance of wealth
It’s love/health
And your freedom
From the bondage of self
You could either be
Known to
keep the children confused
Or be the
Stone that the building refused
Gotta be willing to choose

“Canta, no llores
Librate de dolores
Faltan amores
No te empeores”
“Canta, no llores
Librate de dolores
Faltan amores
No te empeores-no”
“Oh, oh-oh-“
Ponte-ponte en La Luz
La miseria no vale la pena
Put yourself in the light
This Misery isn’t worth it
“Oh, oh-oh“
La gratitud te librará
Las promesas de la vida
Gratitude will free you
Promises of life
“Oh, oh-oh“
Pronto-pronto (mira que) llegará, llegará, llegará
Quickly- soon it will come
“Oh, oh-oh“
Que ponte en La Luz, ponte en La Luz,
“Oh, oh-oh“
la miseria no vale la pena
“Oh, oh-oh“
Y todo lo mal se sanará, se sanará, se sanará, se sanará
Ponte-ponte en La Luz
“Te librará”
La miseria no vale la pena
“Te librará”
La gratitud te librará
Las promesas de la vida pronto llegarán
“Te librará”
Oh-oh…oh, oh
“Te librará”