Afro Influences by Celia Cruz + Bodega Bamz = “Don Francisco”

Bodega Bamz, born in Spanish Harlem to a Dominican and Puerto Rican family whose real name is Nathaniel De La Rosa, may not be well known at the moment. But, steadily, he is claiming his spot in the urban music genre. His latest hit “Don Francisco” is the perfect fusion of Celia Cruz’s Yemaya (1998), hip-hop/rap and, yes, Sabado Gigante which is  the longest running Spanish speaking show.



The contribution of these three elements yields a generation of Latinos that perfectly identify with their parents’ culture, music and entertainment so prevalent while growing up. Bodega Bamz has masterfully, fused our traditional Afro rhythms, Santeria, and Don Francisco’s Sabado Gigante’s inescapable presence  with his own pinch of rap hard to find outside our community.

Don Francisco, whose real name is Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld,  started Sabado Gigante 50 years ago in his native Chile before bringing it to the United States. Chances are that if you grew up in a Hispanic/Latino household you had no choice but to watch Sabado Gigante on Saturday evenings. Truth is that while we may have found the show to be a bit cheesy at times, today it creates a bond between us and has brought Bodega Bamz into the “mainstream” audience.

While we do recognize that rappers have, well a bad rap, we want to concentrate on the positive of the culture and music blend featured by Bodega Bamz’s “Don Francisco.” Enjoy it!

Pa’lante Latino showcases current events in the arts, entertainment, politics, and culture as it affects our community. Above all, we are ferocious advocates of the contributions that Hispanics/Latinos have made to the United States and feature articles based on historical facts to reaffirm our relevance.Please feel free to email us at


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