La Dame Blanche

La Dame Blanche's spitfire rapping, unique voice and strong delivery are underscored by bass-heavy staccato beats, turntable scratching and a sophisticated mixture of cumbia rhythms intermingled with dancehall, Cuban rumba and son. In the midst of this fusion is Ramos’ flute. It´s sweet melodies round out her signature sound and give her music an emotional breadth that reveals the heart underneath the combativeness.

As soon as you hear Yaité Ramos, daughter of Jesus "Aguaje" Ramos, the director of Buena Vista Social Club, talk about her journey, from developing as a classical musician in the famed Escuela Nacional de Arte in Cuba, to finding her voice as a hip-hop artist in the streets of Paris, it’s evident that she’s a warrior—battle-tested and not afraid of the unknown. Artistically, she identifies herself as La Dame Blanche, a nod to the scary yet benevolent ghost at the center of a French opera of the same name. But it is also a picaresque wink at her status as a santera and a black woman. She’s a great storyteller. With the flute as her chosen weapon she marches on stage and raps about the characters, hardships, joys and lived experiences between the two places she calls home—France and Cuba.