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Latin rap

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Latin rap

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Latin rap is not a homogeneous musical style but rather a term that covers all hip hop music recorded by Latinos, as in Chicano Rap, Hip Hop Latino, and Hip Hop en espanol.


Spanglish Rap

The first bilingual ("Spanglish") rappers were a group from Bronx, New York by the name of Mean Machine. They put out the very first bilingual rap song in 1981 on Sugarhill Records. The record was called "Disco Dream". The emcees were Mr. Schick, DJ Julio, Mr. Nice, and Jimmy Mac. Nuyorican DJ and producer Tony Touch also mentions (in an interview on the track "Spanglish" by Spanish Fly & The Terrible 2, which came out in the same year on Enjoy Records. Other early Puerto Rican rap pioneers from NY include Rubie Dee and Prince Whipper Whip of the Fantastic Five, DJ Charlie Chase of the Cold Crush Brothers, Master OC and Devastating Tito of the Fearless Four.

Latin Rap on the West Coast

In the late 1980's and early 1990's, most Latin Rap came from the West Coast of the United States. Cuban-American artist Mellow Man Ace was the first Latino artist to have a major bilingual single attached to his 1989 debut. Mellow Man, referred to as the "Godfather of Latin Rap" and a Hip Hop Hall of Fame inductee, brought mainstream attention to Spanglish rhyming with his platinum single "Mentirosa". A year later, fellow West Coast artist Kid Frost further brought Latinos to the rap forefront with his single "La Raza." Cypress Hill, of which Mellow Man Ace was a member before going solo, would become the first Latino rap group to reach platinum status one year after Kid Frost's debut. The group has since continued to release other gold and platinum albums. Ecuadorian born rapper Gerardo received heavy rotation on video and radio for his single "Rico, Suave", while commercially watered-down, the album enjoyed a status of being one of the first mainstream Spanglish CDs on the market.

East Coast Latin Rap

On the East Coast, Latin artists such as the The Beatnuts emerged in the early 90's, with New Jersey native Chino XL earning recognition for his lyricism and equal controversy for his subject matter. In the late 90's, Puerto Rican rapper Big Pun became the first Latino solo artist to reach platinum sales for an LP with his debut album Capital Punishment. Other Latin artists on the East Coast would follow and receive a great deal of support from Latino consumers including rappers such as Cuban Link and Immortal Technique.

Southwest and Chicano Rap

Latin Rap (as well as its subgenre of Chicano Rap) has thrived along the West Coast, Southwest and Midwestern states with little promotion due to the large Latino populations of those regions. Texas artists such as Chingo Bling, Baby Bash, South Park Mexican and Juan Gotti have enjoyed steady sales and have headlined a number of successful Southwest tours. San Diego artist Lil Rob opened doors for Chicano Rap by receiving mainstream attention for his single "Summer Nights", and artists Sinful of the Mexicanz and Kemo the Blaxican have continued to improve the popularity of Spanglish Rap on the West Coast.

Urban Regional

In recent years the term "Urban Regional" was coined to refer to Spanish rap performed over beats infused with the sounds and melodies from popular Latin music styles such as Banda, Norteno and Cumbia. Rappers such as Akwid, Flakiss, Crooked Stilo and David Rolas are among the most popular urban regional Latin rap artists today.

Reggaeton Movement

In Panama and Puerto Rico a new style was created, inspired by hip hop: Reggaeton. While Puerto Rican rappers from the US like Big Pun made their mark in the American industry of hip hop, hip hop was merged with Caribbean music, electronic styles and raggamuffin into a new style in many Latin American countries. Popular reggaeton rappers include Tego Calderon, Daddy Yankee, Voltio, and Don Omar.

Rap Overseas

Latin Rap has been a hit specially in countries with a large number of migrators to the United States. In Puerto Rico, for example, where many of its residents have moved to New York, Miami and Chicago, Illinois over the years, Latin rap was jumpstarted by a wave of singers that included Ruben DJ and Vico C. Ruben DJ's hit, La Escuela, (The School) and Vico C's hit, La Recta Final, (The way to the End) received considerable radio time during the late 1980s.

It should also be noted that a number of East Coast rappers usually identified as African American have Latin ancestry as well, usually from the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico. This list includes Noreaga (N.O.R.E.), Lloyd Banks, Kane & Abel, Joe Budden, AZ, Juelz Santana, and Fabolous.

Noted Latino rappers and hip hop DJs

Latino Society Kru
7 Notas 7 Colores
Actitud María y Marta
Big Pun
Cap N1ne
CPV (Club de los Poetas Violentos)
Crooked Stilo
Cypress Hill
Cuban Link
Daddy Yankee
Darkroom Familia
Delinquent Habits
DJ Kun
DJ Laz
DJ Yulian
El General
Ese Ceazah
Fat Joe
Frankie Cutlass
Hip Hop Hoodíos
Hurricane G
Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas
Immortal Technique
Jazzy Mel
Joe Bataan
Jonny Z
Kid Frost aka Frost
Latin Alliance
Latin Empire
Latin Prince
Lighter Shade of Brown
Lil Rob
Lil Al
Lil Uno
Lito y Polaco
Los Nativos
The Mean Machine
Mellow Man Ace
Mesanjarz of Funk
Mr. Shadow
Mr. Lil' One
Proper Dos
Proyecto Uno
The Real Roxanne
Rhyme Poetic Mafia
Ruben DJ
Sindicato Argentino del Hip Hop
Triple Seis
Tiro de Gracia
Tony Touch
Varick Pyr
Vico C
VKR (Verdaderos Kreyentes de la Religión de Hip Hop)
Zona 7

See also

External links

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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