Née: Danay Suárez Fernández
Raíces: La Habana, Cuba
Sounds like: Lauryn Hill
You should listen to Danay Suárez because…we desperately need someone to represent represent Cuba better than Pitbull.

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Watch out Anita, La Mala, Goyo, and Niña Dioz, there’s a new girl on the block and she’s got the talent, skills, and looks to be a strong contender for the Latina queen of hip-hop in 2011. Danay Suárez was discovered barely two years ago by British DJ and world-music eminence Gilles Peterson while recording his compilation Havana Cultura in Cuba, for which many other local rappers participated. But Danay really stood out, not only could she rap with perfect flow and compelling, conscious lyrics, but she could also sing (jazz, soul, reggae, blues, you name it).

So, following the apparent universal rule that only female rappers get to crossover to the international music market (really, how many of you can name one male Chilean, Colombian or Spanish MC?), the next obvious step after that compilation was an official solo album. Polvo de la Humedad, her independent release currently available on iTunes and Amazon, is in this humble writer’s opinion the best debut album by a Hispanic rapper period, regardless of gender.

Just as proof of her superb talent, check out the video for her first single, “Yo Aprendí,” done in the traditional low-budget style of all Cuban hip-hop videos (which actually works out, because it adds to her street cred), and pay close attention to the words, her impeccable delivery, and her beautiful voice. Or just look at the pretty girl. I guarantee even if you don’t like hip-hop, you won’t be able to resist her charm.

Get introduced to Cuban femcee Danay Suárez through her video for “Yo Aprendí” below.