Ana Tijoux is often regarded as one of the leading female MCs in Latin America, Tijoux has been nominated by the MTV Latin America VMAs for “Best New Artist” and “Best Urban Artist” in recent years.
Tijoux was born in France to a French mother and a Chilean father in political exile during Pinochet's dictatorship. After the return to democracy, the family moved to Chile. She found a home in the emerging hip-hop scene of Santiago and first started rhyming in French, then later in Spanish. Tijoux initially established herself as the frontwoman of the popular Chilean hip hop group Makiza, renowned for their socially conscious lyrics and dynamic production. Since Makiza, Tijoux has developed her own distinct voice as a solo artist.
She has been featured on tracks by Argentine electronic-tango collective Bajofondo, Mexican hip hop icons Control Machete and Chilean beat master DJ Bitman. But it was her collaboration with Mexican rock star Julieta Venegas on the track, “Eres Para Mi,” which helped expose Tijoux to a mainstream audience. The song became a TV and radio smash hit across Latin America and the U.S.
With new album 1977, Tijoux proves her abilities as a true “rapera” through her jazzy vocals, sophisticated lyrics and hynoptic beats. The album, named for her year of birth, paints a picture of her childhood in France and pays homage to the early 90s era of hip-hop that influenced her as a teenager in Chile.
“I started re-exploring the classic albums - Nas’ Illmatic, Wu-Tang Clan’s 36 Chambers, and A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauder,” Tijoux says. “It was like running into your first ex-boyfriend after many years and falling in love all over again.”
“1977 is like an album from that ‘golden-age’ of rap, a style that I never get tired of,” she explains. “I can’t stand much of modern rap music, it’s just not what I’m about: bling, fancy cars, etc. That music is like the brothel of rap. I’m trying to stage a revival of the generation that I liked the most – ’92 – ’95.”
Recorded between May and September 2009, 1977 was produced by a trio of Santiago’s best: Hordatoj, Foex and Tee. Among the special guests include acclaimed Detroit-based MC Invincible on a virtual Myspace collaboration for “Sube” and Solo Di Medina on the French track “Ooh La La.” “I think it’s a fairly simple album, straight from the vein,” Tijoux says. “I wanted to make a straightforward record, just good lyrics, good beats, good samples and good scratching… that’s it.”