Members: Carlos “Tostao” Valencia, Gloria “Goyo” Martínez, Miguel “Slow” Martínez
Origin: Chocó, Colombia
Years Active: 2000 – Present
Fundamental to the Colombian Hip Hop group ChocQuibTown is raising their voices in message and music. Advocacy and celebration of their regional culture and identity is essential to the message in the music. Over the course of a twenty year career, they have established themselves as an internationally acclaimed music group who are both civic leaders and inspirational artists to many in Chocó, the region of Western Colombia they call home.
The group’s name “ChocQuibTown” is a blending of places highlighting their strong times to home. Choc references their home region in Western Colombia -Chocó, Quib is from the region’s capital city -Quibdó, and Town caps the theme of hometown in the name.
Formed in 2000, the trio is comprised of brother and sister, Gloria “Goyo” Martínez and Miguel “Slow” Martínez, and Carlos “Tostao” Valencia. While all members of the group contribute vocals to the songs, Slow handles much of the production side of the music-making, while Goyo and Tostao primarily provide the singing and rapping. ChocQuibTown’s music has been deeply influenced by Hip Hop styles developed in the United States during the 1990s, however it also contains characteristics heard in Salsa, Latin Jazz, and Afro-Latin music.
Lyrically, ChocQuibTown strives to draw attention to Chocó, a region struggling with poverty and environmental degradation that is frequently ignored and underrepresented by the Colombian government. Furthermore, the group seeks to counter the constant but limited narrative of either political corruption and/or reckless gold mining that has plagued the area. ChocQuibTown has harnessed their continued success to bring international attention to the region’s dynamic culture created and developed by its historically marginalized Afro-Colombian population.
Over the span of six albums and numerous singles, ChocQuibTown has received numerous accolades and popular critical acclaim. Frequently awarded music awards in Colombia, in the United States, the group has been nominated for both Grammys and Latin Grammys. They won the Latin Grammy Award for Best Alternative Song for their tune, “De Donde Vengo Yo” in 2010. In 2015, ChocQuibTown won another Latin Grammy for Best Tropical Fusion Album for their record, El Mismo.
Releasing their debut album Somos Pacifico independently in 2006, their second record, Oro, came out on Nacional Records in 2010. Since 2012, ChocaQuibTown reached another major achievement by releasing their last four albums via the Sony Music Latin label. Their sixth album, ChocQuib House, was issued in 2020.