The Ponderers: Lah Tere

Enigmatic Puerto Rican, Humboldt Park native and spoken word artist, Lah Tere, immediately captured our attention through fellow Chicago/NYC/Chile artists, Rebel Diaz. When sharing the mic, Lah Tere was as slick and powerful as those next to her. There was always a head-bopping, steady dose of rhythm, rhyme and power. Lah Tere destroyed any suspected female stereotypes with strength, confidence and most of all, natural talent. She made you feel empowered, when you didn’t even know you needed empowerment. It’s what one feels when in the presence of a woman who knows who she is and what she wants.

“So now I make a move,

but I move at my own pace.”

Beautifully sculpting the art of connecting words in messages of positivity, self-confidence and change, Lah Tere has proven an essential part of urban musical storytelling. We learn to empathize when we realize, at some point, we’ll all face similar challenges. It’s a daily struggle for some, not so much for others, but we’re here and it’s now and she teaches us to ask ourselves what has changed? Is it necessary? What’s next?

We’re taught to look and learn from the past but also to be prepared to face the future. In some instance her music makes us feel anger and rage but not as a dominating factor, instead as an exercise in the ability to face the odds stacked against each of us and being able to push through them. It’s called hope and it feels good.

“You are who you’ve been waiting for.”

And… this is just her music we’re referring to. Lah Tere is a queen when it comes to her mission on this planet. She is co-founder of Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen, a project that encourages women to get involved in hip hop, allowing a new outlet for their voices to be heard. The music industry has proven that there’s a need to create change, especially in the portrayal of positive female role models, and encouraging more mujeres to be involved in this type of music will make that change possible. This is also why the event focuses on empowering women through education.

Lah Tere is also an MC and a lecturer. She offers workshops in her travels to other countries providing healing through the magic of hip hop. In early 2013 she spent time at Fundación Casa Ana in the Dominican Republic where she facilitated workshops for orphaned and abused children. The project also provided an opportunity for learning about the craft of hip hop. Together with her young students, they created music, wrote lyrics, flowed and soon arose as the first hip hop project in Azua, proudly called Mama Tingo. Their first song, “Amor en mi País”, is performed by three females.

Lah Tere has proven through her workshops and lectures the healing power of music. In one of her lectures,“Self Love Dissolves Self Hate,” she shares tools that “help participants unclutter their minds and value the importance of focusing on their personal purpose and treasure map. When you know who you are and where you want to go, no one can stop you.”

The Inner City Queen reports back through her website that she’s working on a new solo project called Rehearsal Dinner and finds herself on the island, “in a great space.” We can’t wait to see and hear what she has in store for us in 2014.

Lah Tere



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