Lee Esto: Frank151 Covers Cuba In New Issue

September 17, 2010

Words by DJ Synapse


Frank151 is an 11-year old pocket-sized quarterly publication. Each issue adopts a different theme and an accompanying guest curator. Their most recent edition has taken aim at Cuba. Sporting a new take on the Cuban flag, the book includes articles like the illustrated history of assassination attempts on Fidel Castro, a feature on Radio 1 jock Gilles Peterson (a champion of Cuban music for years), and a look into the cat they call Mellow Man Ace.

Check a selection of images of the book below, with a sample of each piece.


Fidel Castro - Illustration by Matt Luckhurst

Fidel Castro is arguably the worldโ€™s most unmurderable man. Of the more than 630 purported attempts to get rid of El Comandante, a bullet has never so much as grazed him. With enemies like the CIA, Cuban exiles, and the Mafia, Castro has surrounded himself with loyal followers who have kept harm at bay. Itโ€™s reported that he went as far as to say, โ€œIf surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the
gold medal.โ€


Gilles Peterson - Photo by Youri Lenquette

As far as most folks outside of the island know, Cuban music was born in 1999 with the release of Buena Vista Social Club. The truth is, Cuba has a long, rich musical history that is currently experiencing a fresh interpretation by a new Cuban vanguard.

Disc jockey, label owner, and general Man of Music Gilles Peterson took it upon himself to travel to Cuba and produce Havana Cultura, ensuring continued interest in and renewed appreciation for the Cuban musical tradition.


Mellow Man Ace

Ulpiano Reyes hasnโ€™t been back to Cuba since he moved to South Gate, California, with his parents and three siblings at the age of four, but his homeland has never been far from his heart. In 1990, Reyes (brother to Sen Dog of Cypress Hill) released Escape From Havana, his debut album as Mellow Man Ace. With the single โ€œMentirosa,โ€ Mellow Man became the first rapper to go platinum in both the US and Mexico, and he bridged an important gap by rapping in both English and Spanish.

Make your way over to Frank151.com to see the Cuba Book On-line. In addition, they will also be offering a PDF of the Cuba book soon, as well as stocking it in your local street wear, skate and sneaker shop.