Havana: Hidden Havana

The Buena Vista Social Club is yesterday. The streets of Cuba's cities today are moving to a younger rhythm

At an open-mike session in the yard of a run-down stone house in Havana's Vedado neighborhood, several hundred fans waited in the blazing sun for an hour as a crew struggled to get the sound equipment working. The walls of the house were scrawled with vivid slogans--VIVA CUBA, FREE MUMIA and NO MORE PRISONS, next to a painting of the Cuban flag. It was easy to spot the trappings of American hip-hop in the animated crowd--baggy pants, and T shirts splashed with the names of American artists (Mos Def, the Notorious B.I.G.) or record labels (Bad Boy, Rawkus). Nearby, fatigue-clad soldiers--an...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!