We’re Reveling in Genie Santiago’s Powerful “Revelación”

By Hassan Ghanny for Boston Compass Blog

July 24, 2020

Puerto Rican writer and poet Martín Espada once quipped: “Everybody takes his or her reality for granted… Sometimes we have to unlearn that truth, learn that there is a different or broader reality.” That broader reality — the one that people of color face in the United States — is one that local musician Genie Santiago is firmly taking to task in her new single, “Revelación”. In a social moment dominated by rallying cries for racial justice, “Revelación” is exactly what the stir-crazy masses need: a melodic form of protest, agitprop without pretense.

Inspired by 90s hip hop, “Revelación” features Santiago trading socially conscious verses with local rapper and percussionist ALGO. Herself of Puerto Rican descent, Santiago succinctly captures a slice of the inconsistencies and ruptures of being Latinx in the United States. That said, the song is a universal rallying cry for rising up against white supremacy no matter where one’s background falls. And make no mistake, this song release isn’t a vehicle for self-aggrandizing on Santiago’s part; the artist is donating all proceeds from the Bandcamp release to Border Angels, a nonprofit which aids migrants in the American Southwest.

The song marks a shift in direction for Santiago, whose previous release Spirit Party consisted of sensual (yet still socially conscious) R&B. To this effect, Santiago wrote on Instagram: "This song is different than anything I've done, but it is me… I am grateful that I am finally able to walk in my power."

Whatever your weekend plans are, give “Revelación” a listen, and a donation if you feel so inclined — I promise you the work of this Genie won’t rub you the wrong way.

Hassan Ghanny is a writer and performer based in Jamaica Plain. He can be found on Instagram @diaspora.gothic