Tokischa Becomes the First Dominican Woman in the Urbano Genre to Appear on ‘Tiny Desk’

Tokischa Becomes the First Dominican Woman in the Urbano Genre to Appear on ‘Tiny Desk’ belatina latine
Credit: YouTube/ NPR Music

Tiny Desk by NPR, a space where intimate video performances are recorded live at the desk of Bob Boilen, has been going strong for their Hispanic Heritage Month efforts. As they should. 

Throughout this month, they’ve been highlighting different Latine artists of various genres. They started off with Omar Apollo, who brought a mariachi band and a communal spirit. Even our beloved Mexicana, Carla Morrison, was a special guest. Well, of course, she’d be asked to join Tiny Desk – she’s a star. 

Have you heard her sing? Morrison took over the room as her buttery voice hit all the notes to her song, “Disfruto.” 

Other artists of the same caliber were also invited this month.

Tokischa makes history

Another notable Latina asked to participate was Tokischa, making her the first Dominican woman in the Urbano genre to perform at NPR’s Tiny Desk. 

During her special, Toki allowed us to see the vast capacity of her talent as she bent her voice to adapt to different music styles. She reworked her provocative songs in a melange of Latin American and Caribbean genres.

The Dominican rapper, Tokischa, has been very busy lately. She recently released a remixed version of Madonna’s “Hung Up,” with the “Like a Virgin” singer herself. 

Holding on to the modern emergence of dembow, La Toki is claiming dominance over the predominantly Dominican genre.  Although, it is important to understand that its origins are embedded in Panamanian and Jamaican roots.

Though the narrative around Tokischa usually revolves around “controversy,” I think many are misunderstanding her art. The Dominican trapera manages to make people uncomfortable with her raw delivery, which often depicts the realities of Dominican culture, and through her willingness to use her sexuality in her music. 

She’s in your face – and doesn’t care. In a society where people care too much, it’s great to see someone like Tokischa raise a perpetual middle finger to the masses. 

The “Estilazo” singer is not for everyone – and that’s fine. 

Tiny Desk, good job on your selection. Let’s hope they continue highlighting more Latine artists for the rest of the year. After all, our community is riddled with talent. 

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