By Efrain Nieves & Victoria Cepeda
If you were a teenager in the 80’s and 90’s then you will agree Hip-Hop is not the same today as it was back then. From beats, rhythms and style, Hip-Hop is a totally different genre. Even the name has changed, in those days we called it rap (although some might argue that the two are separate genres but that’s another topic).
African-Americans rule the Hip-Hop scene but it was not long before Latinos jumped into the musical genre. One particular rapper who remains in my mind is Mellow Man Ace. Mellow Man’s hit single “Mentirosa” was the first time I heard Spanglish on the radio. It was no wonder the song became a hit. Mellow Man Ace gave a generation a place in a rebellious culture. By mixing the two languages in one song, he reminded us of our roots but also a glimpse of what was to come in the future.
Today Latinos of African-American descent continue to rise in the ranks of hip-hop i.e. Jim Jones, Fabolous and Lloyd Banks among others. And let us not even get started about other main stream musical genres where our presence and influence is being felt. It feels darn good to groove, jam, rock and move to the beat of your favorite artists but it’s even sweeter when you can find something in common with them. Viva la latinidad.
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