Being that Quitetrill is based in Texas we thought we would celebrate this holiday by honoring some of the great Mexican and other Latino diaspora descendants that have been influential in hip hop from the very beginning.
The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It is not, as many people think, Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually September 16th.
For some, the knowledge of Latinos’ impact on Hip-Hop does not go much deeper than the catalogs of Fat Joe and Big Pun. However, the contribution made by Latinos to the culture is extensive and embedded in the foundation of Hip-Hop.
QuiteTrill has put together a lil jaunt to explore and honor the oft-overlooked critical role played particularly by people of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent as Hip-Hop was germinating in the 70s and early 80s. Blacks and Latinos lived side by side in the quarters of the Bronx, NY where the culture was burgeoning at the time. The documentary chronicles the stories of key Latino players in breakin’, graffiti and other elements of Hip-Hop.
A list of some of the most influential artists from the Latin diaspora (in no particular order)
There were a number of Latino rappers who came before Pun, but the Puerto Rican spitter was the first solo Latin MC to go platinum. He made hits and never sacrificed his lyrical ability. Not only was he the greatest Latino spitter of all-time, he holds his place among all the greats.
Crazy Legs is a b-boy from the Bronx New York City, USA. He featured in the earliest stories on hip hop dancing to appear in mainstream press, and as president of the Rock Steady Crew brought the form to London and Paris in 1983. Today he is also involved in community outreach, dance instruction and dance theater productions. His pioneering status is reflected in his appearances in fiction films and documentaries, old and new. Crazy Legs is the most popular & commercially successful of the few original members remaining of the Rock Steady Crew, and is its current president.
The Cypress Hill front man has been at it for nearly 25 years. Not only has B-Real influenced a whole slew of rappers (and stoners), he and Cypress Hill put weed culture on the forefront and influenced a new generation of smokers. The Mexican and Cuban MC is one of hip-hop’s best performers ever.
You have to salute the Don Cartagena. Not only does he have a number of hits under his name (“We Thuggin,” “What’s Luv”), he has a catalog full of underground bangers too (“The Sh– is Real” and “Lifestyle”). Outside of the studio, he heads Terror Squad and has brought us artists like Big Pun, DJ Khaled and Cool & Dre.
The Superthug is super-proud of his Puerto Rican heritage, and when he dropped 2004’s “Oye Mi Canto,” he sung it loud and repped for all Latinos across the globe.
Bet you didn’t know Fab was part-Latino, did you? His mom is African-American, his dad is Dominican and Loso is just all-around dope. This Brooklyn MC is one of the cleverest lyricists spitting.
Frost was one of the early pioneers to gave Mexican-American hip-hop fans someone to identify with in the 1990s with his single “La Raza,” the single was one of the first to go national and put Mexican-American emcees from L.A on the map. He’s still contributing to hip-hop through his son Scoop DeVille, who has produced for Busta Rhymes, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Drake.
Born in Peru, Tech has become one of hip-hop’s most important voices. His social and political commentary follows in the tradition of Public Enemy and Dead Prez.
The half-Dominican MC is a major piece in the Diplomats crew which includes Jim Jones and Cam’ron the crew holds it down heavy for Harlem and are undeniable on the mic.
Prince Markie Dee
Markie Dee got his start in the 1980s with the pioneering hip hop group Fat Boys and was one of the first rappers to make it to Hollywood, starring in “Krush Groove” and “Disorderlies.” He launched a solo rap career in the 1990s, but then moved behind-the-scenes writing songs for Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige and Marc Anthony. He’s also a radio host in Miami.
With almost 20 years in the game, Chino XL is still one of hip-hop’s most lethal lyricists. He is also a problem to jealous handcuffing cats that cant keep they women in tact.
Prince Whipper Whip
As a member of the Fantastic Romantic 5, Prince Whipper Whip was a pioneering MC in the 1980s and inspired a number of the Latino artists who came after him.
The Beatnuts are some of the dopest hip hop producers in hip hop history their sound was a paramount part of New York hip hop in the 90’s, they are also a part of the famed Native Tounges collective. Psycho Les and Juju made their mark as rappers and producers and introduced the mainstream to Big Pun on their 1997 single “Off the Books.”
Not only is Jim Jones part Puerto Rican, his middle name is Guillermo — and it doesn’t get more Latino than that. The Dipset spitter has given us a ton of hits to dance to and has a impeccable sense of style. He starred in “Love & Hip Hop” and his own spin-off VH1 reality series and brought us Max B. Give him his credit.
AZ a.k.a. Anthony Cruz made his rap debut as the only feature on Nas’ classic Illmatic back in 1994. Historically AZ was one who could consistently trade bars with the great Nasir Jones. The Brooklyn MC has released 8 solo albums and one with Nas’ super group, the Firm, with Foxy Brown and Nature.
The Real Roxanne
The Real Roxanne is an American female hip hop emcee of Puerto Rican descent. Roxanne was born in Brooklyn, New York. In the 1980s she, Roxanne Shanté, and others were engaged in the Roxanne Wars, a series of answer records inspired by UTFO‘s hit song “Roxanne, Roxanne,” being the officially sanctioned artist in response to all of the answer records. She scored her biggest hit in 1986 by teaming up with Howie Tee on the single “Bang Zoom (Let’s Go-Go),” which reached #11 in the UK Singles Chart, her only UK Top 40 hit to date.
Brooklyn-born rapper Gloria Rodriguez known by her stage name Hurricane G, is an American rapper of Puerto Rican descent. Hurricane was Hit Squad’s first female member. She released her debut album, All Woman, in 1997 and the album’s release single, “Somebody Else,” landed as #10 of Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles and #54 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
Snow Tha Product
The Mexican-American Cali rapper is just getting warmed up, but she’s providing inspiration for Latinas everywhere, proving that it isn’t just an all-boys club.