When you think of Latin Hip-Hop
what names come to mind? Perhaps rap veteran Frost and Cypress Hill
from Los Angeles or maybe Fat Joe and Big Pun from the Bronx.
California and New York are the two states where the seeds of
urban music were planted. Even back in the day when popping and
break-dancing were popular in every varrio. Latinos were there
influencing the urban culture from day one. Latin Hip-Hop has
spread to other states such as Arizona, Colorado, and Texas.
Now it can even be found south of the border, Mexico!
Mexico, which is well known for its famous Mariachi, Norteno,
and now Rock en Espanol! The phenomenon that has taken Latin music
to a whole new level. Will Latin Hip-Hop be the next phenomenon?
Two native rap groups from Mexico have been blazing new trails
from the culture they pick up from their Latino brothers in America.
Two hours south of the Texas border in Monterey, Mexico comes
Control Machete. Pato, Toy, and Fermin were destined to become
Mexico's first Hip-Hop group. Their debut album "Mucho Barato"
has sold well over 100,000 copies in Mexico alone and is selling well
in the U.S. This album took Latin Hip-Hop to another level, in
"Comprendes Mendes?" Control Machete laces Mexican riffs with hardcore Hip-Hop beats. Their
political lyrics that would make Rage Against the Machine's
Zack De La Rocha proud. Tracks such as "Hermanos Mexicanos" and
"Mexican Curious" attack the United States for it's anti-immigrant
campaigns, while encouraging raza to unite and defend what is rightfully
Mexico City rap group Molotov, blends the music and spirit of rock
and rap to a sound that is just as powerful as their name and every
bit as explosive. With their in your face style, the controversy they
created in Mexico help them sell over 350,000 copies of their CD
"Donde Jugaran Los Ninas?" ("Where Will the Girls Play"). What stirred
the controversy are tracks such as "Que No Haga Bogo, Jacobo"
(Don't let Jacobo Fool You"), The track is in reference to Mexico's most
famous news anchor man, Jacobo Zabludovsky and media giant Televisa.
The tracks Hip-Hop fans will enjoy the most are "Gimme tha Power" and
"Voto Latino" that blend rap and rock perfectly.
The music that Control Machete and Molotov are creating is the direction
Latin Hip-Hop needs to go. Blending Hip-Hop beats with Latin influences
is what's going to take Latin rap to the next level. Latino rappers in
the United States have to use their bilingual skills to cross over to
markets that are difficult for English only rappers. Two California rap
groups are doing just that.The Darkroom Family from Northern California are
released an album entitled "Los Traficantes" that mixes Mexican Norteno music with Chicano rap. The album is influence
by artists such as Los Tucanes de Tijuana that sing about drug trafficking and
Mexican cartels, south of the border style. The other group Latin Fros
from Los Angeles by way of Honduras(Central America) are blowing up the L.A. underground
scene. Like the name implies Latin Fros are creating a unique sound by
combining Afro-Latin beats with Spanish lyrics. Darkroom and Latin Fros
are breaking newground by developing a style that will appeal to a broader
audience. These examples are exactly what the industry needs to make Latin
Hip-Hop the next global phenomena.