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Growing Up Latino With Eskeerdo

Get better acquainted with the man whose songs are heard all around the world. 

Even if you couldn't put a face to producer, rapper, and Grammy award-winning songwriter Eskeerdo, you know and love his music. The multi-faceted artist has lent his talents to the likes of Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Ice Cube, Trina and many more. Esteemed résumé aside, Alexander Izquierdo is one proud Latino having grown up in the largest Cuban district in the United States: Hialeah, Florida.

READ: Growing Up Latina With Nina Sky

Albeit his music might not directly reflect the rich latinidad from which his orgullo stems, it took traveling outside of Miami for Eskeerdo to realize that not everyone was brought up on a diet heavy with rice and beans, or that watching Sabado Gigante religiously wasn't the thing to do. As an adult, he expanded his proverbial horizons and experienced a whole new world outside of Little Havana. Yet, in Eskeerdo's case, the old age "you don't know where you're going until you know where you've been" rings far true.

#hispanicheritagemonth seems to be year around for me.. #CubanJesus

A photo posted by Cuban Jesus (@eskeerdo) on

Unforgettable childhood memory:
When I used to get whooped for all my brother’s mistakes, for everything he used to! He’s older than me. No matter what, I would get the ass whooping. I’ve been hit with every object in the book: sandals, flyswatters, wooden spoons, vacuum hoses, everything. My mom speaks English, but whenever she’s trying to whoop my ass, she’ll scream at me in Spanish. So whenever my mom talks in Spanish to me, I run. Even to this day.

Favorite home cooked dish:
I’ve got a few, but two dishes my mom makes [I love] is picadillo, which is ground beef, rice and black beans with fried plantains. My moms got this family recipe that my grandmother passed down to her. I can’t find better picadillo anywhere else. That and her palomilla steak with moro and tostones.

Craziest Hispanic proverb as told by mami or abuela:
My old girl used to tell me “Lo que esta pa ti, nadie no lo quita” or “What’s for you, no one can take away.” That’s the one that I still stand by today.

Che Guevara moment (or greatest moment of rebellion):
Well, me and my brother always used to fight. I’ve got two half-brothers who are four years older than me and we used to fight a lot. I’ve always been the little, big brother. So one day, me and this man were hitting each other with pillows, but he faked me out and swung with the pillow then a right hook came, and laid me out. So the next time I put all the remote controls in the pillowcase and I cracked his shit open. It was funny until all the blood was everywhere and I felt like sh*t. But that was the first, most rebellious thing I did.

READ: Growing Up Latino With Bodega Bamz

Cubanaso #ESKEERDO EP link in bio

A photo posted by Cuban Jesus (@eskeerdo) on

I first saw myself as Latino when…
I’ve never really known anything else. I didn’t know any actual Caucasian people. I’ve always felt connected, even though I’m a first generation Cuban-American. In my household, we always spoke Spanish even though my mom and dad both spoke English. I’m from the largest Cuban community in America. So feeling anything other than Hispanic never happened to me. I didn’t even start eating other food until I started traveling. I thought everybody ate rice and beans and carne asada. Until I started experiencing other cultures, I didn’t know anything else.

Chupacabra or El Cuco?
La Chupacabra. I remember when La Chupacabra was on the news, bro. They said that there was a “chupacabra” incident. Man that was our big foot. My mom would use that against us too. She would be like “I know la chupacabra too. I’ll bring him over here.” And me being little, I was like “what are you talking bout?” crying and all. They used that against me so many times. And I thought it was real.

Poor man’s meal:
Vienna sausages. The salchichas. That was my go-to snack right there. I ate Ramen here and there, but I would literally put Vienna sausages on everything. I’d put them on crackers, in between bread, or dump the water out and eat right out of the can.

Household cure-all/remedy:
Even as a kid when I was sick, I would take a shot of rum, honey, and lemon. Since I could remember, whenever I had a cold, my old girl would make me take a shot of rum, with honey and lemon. Then she would put Vick’s on a spoon and light that shit like it was heroine and put it on my chest. I don’t know where these remedies came from, but the next day everything went away. And if that didn’t work, then a super-hot chicken soup.

Writing songs about you.. #Eskeerdo #CubanJesus #UhHuh #GibsonGuitarsca #mergesongscamp

A photo posted by Cuban Jesus (@eskeerdo) on

Salsa, Bachata or Reggaeton?
Salsa man. I’m Cuban. Salsa is the dance of choice. I mean, I’m not really good at it. I think I let the family down with salsa. I know the first four steps, and then I lose it. I don’t know why. I think the salsa train stopped at my brother and I didn’t get the movement.

Telenovela guilty pleasure:
There was never anything that we really sat down and watched but my grandfather used to watch Sabado Gigante. Don Francisco was on 24 hours a day at my grandfather’s house. He didn’t watch anything else. I’d only sit down so I could watch the girls.

Historical hero/heroine:
My Mother. My mother has been my rock for like ever. I was raised in a single-parent home. My mom didn’t have it easy neither did my father. We weren’t easy children either, between my brothers being in the streets and my struggles [leaving] the streets. She still held sh*t down and raised two great men. For us to be wild and reckless and for her to still have everything under control and still teaching us morals in between that. She always put us first.

Life mantra:
Realistically, nothing is promised in life and you’ve got to work hard to keep what you have. This is where “Lo que esta pa ti, nadie no lo quita” comes right back around. My life mantra is “If you want it, you’ll get it.” If you really want it, just have the blind faith and go at it. It’s that hustler’s spirit.

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The 25 Best Latinx Albums Of 2019

As we inch closer to the end of another memorable chapter in music, the Spanish-language gap gets bigger by the day. To anyone who believed reggaeton's second coming or Latin trap was a trend were gravely mistaken as artists across the diaspora found success on the charts and in the streaming world. Artists like Bad Bunny, Rosalía and J Balvin continued to thrive off last year's releases while dropping memorable singles (and joint projects). Others like Sech broke the mold for the marriage of hip-hop and reggaeton with Panamanian pride. Legends like Mark Anthony and Ivy Queen reminded us of their magic while rising artists like Rico Nasty, DaniLeigh and Melii provided major star power and creative visuals for their tunes. Latinx music has continued to push boundaries and the same goes for our list.

Enjoy our ranking of the 25 best Latinx albums of 2019.

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Christopher Furlong/Getty Image

Kidnapped UPS Driver's Family Blames Florida Police For His Death

As an investigation kicks off involving several police officers and armed robbers, the family of Frank Ordoñez is demanding more than just answers about the father of two's tragic death.

On Thursday (Dec. 5), Ordoñez was killed when officers and two armed men exchanged gunfire in Broward County, Florida after the suspects robbed a jewelry store. Police were notified of what transpired at Regent Jewelers through a silent holdup alarm at 4:17 pm, Police Chief Edward J. Hudak Jr. told CNN.

The men identified by the Miami FBI as Lamar Alexander, 41, and Ronnie Jerome Hill, 41, left the store and hijacked Ordoñez's truck and fled at least 25 miles on the interstate. Police followed the truck as the chase was aired live on television. After coming to an intersection around 5:35 pm, the UPS truck stopped. The 27-year-old tried to escape but was killed in the gunfire the officers had with Hill and Alexander.

The FBI identifies the two deceased individuals responsible for yesterday's jewelry store robbery, carjacking/kidnapping and shootings as Lamar Alexander, 41, and Ronnie Jerome Hill, 41, both of Miami-Dade County. If anyone has information about these crimes, call 1-855-352-7233

— FBI Miami (@FBIMiamiFL) December 6, 2019

Bystander footage revealed 11 officers were involved in the shooting with some of them using bystander vehicles to shield themselves for a better defense. An unidentified bystander was also killed in the shooting. It's currently unknown if Ordoñez and the other victim were hit with bullets from police or the armed suspects.

https://twitter.com/kevinreinosoo/status/1202742863785840645

Ordoñez's family has shared their grief and confusion over what happened and questioned how the police reacted to the incident."For this to happen, I think, is just unnecessary," Joe Merino, his stepfather told NBC's Today show. "Other tactics should have been applied, and they weren't, so when I say the word devastated, it's an understatement."

Ordoñez's brother Roy said he "was just going to work to provide for his two little girls," by taking over someone else's shift. It was also his first time as a driver in his five-year employment with the company. Roy launched a GoFundMe to cover funeral costs as well as an education fund his brother originally had with UPS. "Please don't let my brother's death be for nothing," he said. "Police need to be held accountable." So far, the GoFundMe has raised over $50,000–well ahead of the family's request of $20,000.

"It's a nightmare. It's a bad dream that I hope to wake up from and see him here." Joe Merino the stepfather of UPS driver Frank Ordonez pic.twitter.com/TXTbfK4Lx0

— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) December 6, 2019

His sister Genny Merino blamed the police for their brother's death."Today I lost my brother, because of the negligence and stupidity of the police," Merino posted on Twitter with a video memorial. "Instead of negotiating with a hostage situation they just shot everyone. (Including my brother) please retweet this so everyone can be aware of how stupid these cops are."

Today I lost my brother, because of the fucking negligence and stupidity of the police. Instead of negotiating with a hostage situation they just shot everyone. (Including my brother) please retweet this so everyone can be aware how stupid these cops are. pic.twitter.com/DyFN2ZUoAX

— genny♡ (@geneviemerino) December 6, 2019

The FBI, as well as The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, are both investigating the incident.

Ordoñez's family aren't the only ones questioning the actions of the police. Supporters of the GoFundMe called out the police as well. "Que descanses en paz Hermano.... Condolencias para ti y tus seres queridos. Que mal ejemplo estas chotas de la ley de Estados Unidos valen pa puro SORPETES!!," one supporter said which translates roughly to: "May your brother rest in peace. Condolences to you and your loved ones. The law enforcement in the United States sets a bad example, purely surprised!"

Ordoñez's employer UPS was also met with criticism for praising the efforts of the law enforcement for the incident. "We are deeply saddened to learn a UPS service provider was a victim of this senseless act of violence," they said in a statement on Twitter. "We extend our condolences to the family and friends of our employees and the other innocent victims involved in this incident. We appreciate law enforcement’s service and will cooperate with the authorities as they continue the investigation."

https://twitter.com/UPS/status/1202778926155751426

See the reactions below.

Not sure there's a better illustration for how little your boss cares about you than UPS thanking the cops for shooting their driver to death

— tinybaby (@tinybaby) December 6, 2019

https://twitter.com/freedaaron/status/1202986421339996160

This is a weird way to spell “We are deeply saddened to learn Frank Ordonez, a UPS employee, was a victim of negligent police officers who murdered him and another innocent bystander today. We will ensure his family, especially his two young daughters, are financially cared for.” https://t.co/2kkRJQuB1Y

— Grace (@graceporta) December 6, 2019

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Courtesy of Crudo Means Raw

Premiere: Crudo Means Raw And Mabiland Reunite For Jazzy Single "La Titular"

R&B in Español isn't a new exploration, but rapper/producer Crudo Means Raw and vocalist Mabiland's latest collaboration makes it feel scared and fresh. The Colombian artists have joined forces once again for "La Titular," a thoughtful blend of dembow-funk and jazzy chords guaranteed to entice a body roll or two.

Crudo views the track as a moody rap number which makes sense given his inspirations like a Tribe Called Quest, CL Smooth and Sade. In addition to notes of love on "La Titular" it's also one of self-reflection. “La Titular" came at a time when we both found emotional stability and a couple of complicated queens," Mabiland tells VIBE VIVA. "It is also true that it emerged at a time of many changes where in progress; both changing as people, and somehow everything was also in a transition. I always enjoy being able to work with a man I am a fan of and who I call a friend." The two scored a hit last year in the Afro-Colombian fusion space and beyond with “La Mitad De La Mitad,” leading Crudo to collaborate with Juanes and former high school classmate J Balvin.

"All over the city, they were banging that track in nightclubs,” he told Rolling Stone about the track. “It would be the 2 a.m. part of the party where it gets really grimy and ratchet, and they would play my song.” If "La Mitad De La Mitad" is the turn-up, "La Titular" is definitely the futuristic Quiet Storm turn down. Other players on the track include guitarist Byron Sánchez and Las musas (Sandra Moore , Amuna y Alie) on the chorus.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

LA TITULAR @mabiland x @crudomeansraw de aleteo en Medellín el próximo 7 de diciembre. Boletería en: www.salallena.com @salallenacom @cooltoarteycalle @madradio.co Dj invitados: @tesheeee @tornall Visual x @ednadaism

A post shared by Mabiland (@mabiland) on Oct 30, 2019 at 11:03am PDT

Enjoy "La Titular" below.

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