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Growing Up Latino With Lin-Manuel Miranda

Miranda – successful, genius and avant-garde – remains grounded in his heritage.

The world first saw Lin-Manuel Miranda's lyrical aptitude, impeccable rhyme schemes and infectious melodies come together in In The Heights, a musical that brought the Dominican-American experience to a theatre forefront. Some years and several awards later (Tony, Grammy, Emmy etc.), we're singing Miranda's praises again, in the unlikely event that an American Founding Father's childhood is akin to that of a ghetto story.

READ: Lin-Manuel Miranda Brings The Drama To BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher

Miranda is not only an actor, composer and playwright, but he's an equally adept MC. So, while Hamilton is rooted in Alexander Hamilton's coming-of-age, the new hip-hop based musical is far from white-washed and, simultaneously, speaks to experiences that are estranged from the dominant culture. Hamilton is a prime example of how Miranda continues to change the world with his art; he's managed to have a voice in the ever so politically charged world we live in without coming off as overbearing or seemingly controversial. It's what makes him so brilliant and relatable to personalities that fall on each end of the spectrum. 

Miranda – successful, genius and avant-garde – remains grounded in his heritage. "I have always, always been clear about being Latino," he says to VIBE Viva.

READ: ‘Hamilton’ Broadway Album Tops Billboard Rap Chart

Get to know more about his upbringing…

Unforgettable childhood memory:
Unforgettable childhood memory? Eating limber – tropical fruit ice – in Puerto Rico.

Favorite home cooked dish:
Piñón, a Puerto Rican style of "lasagna," but the layers are made of fried sweet plantains (maduros), instead of pasta.

Craziest Hispanic proverb as told by mami or abuela:
“De tal palo tal astilla." In English it literally means “From such a stick comes such a splinter," but it doesn’t translate very well. The closest accurate translation that I can think of is: “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree."

Che Guevara moment (greatest moment of rebellion):
Choosing a career in the arts.

I first saw myself at Latino when…
I have always, always been clear about being Latino.

Chupacabra or El Cuco?
Chupacabras. [Laughs]

Poor man’s meal:
Pizza bagels!

Household cure-all/remedy:
Alcoholado, which is a type of “rubbing” alcohol that is infused with natural herbs and oils.

Salsa, Bachata or Reggaeton?
Salsa, for sure.

Telenovela guilty pleasure:
My telenovela guilty pleasure would have to be Dos Mujeres, Un Camino, starring Erik Estrada.

Historical hero/heroine?
My father, Luis Miranda.

Life mantra:
“This too shall pass."  It's my mother's mantra.

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Cardi B is sparking more anticipation for her next album thanks to her latest freestyle. On Monday (Nov. 19), the rapper dropped some bars on Instagram to hold fans over until the release of her sophomore project.

"Just a little something something... hair on healthy," she captioned the freestyle over Cam'ron's classic track, "357." Keeping it natural and raw, the Bronx native posts up in front of Cap'n Crunch and a Costco box full of Vienna sausages to drop her freestyle about the wins and losses she's taken this year.

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If anything, this can be a hint to fans that she's gravitating back towards her hip-hop roots, an element heavily heard on her debut album, Invasion of Privacy. In a recent interview with Billboard, Cardi talked about her new album and curiosities about its direction.

"There's certain music that I want to do, but I feel like, [are] people interested in that? I feel like things have changed. It's more like a twerk sound going on right now," she said. "It's just like, 'Should I just do my music around that?' But I cannot just go with what's hot. I still gotta go with what I want to do."

Cardi has no problem adapting to popular music. She's worked with the likes of Selena Gomez on DJ's Snake's "Taki Taki" with Ozuna in 2018 and took her guest spots to another level in 2019 by working with Ed Sheeran ("South of The Border"), Lil Nas X ("Rodeo") and French Montana ("Writings On The Wall"). She also dropped a show-stopping video for "Press" over the summer.

But at the end of the day, Cardi's new music is coming first. "My album is on my mind 24/7,"she said. "It's practically all I'm focusing on."

Enjoy her freestyle (and sleek blowout) below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Just alittle something something ......hair on healthy.

A post shared by Iamcardib (@iamcardib) on Nov 18, 2019 at 6:55pm PST

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DaniLeigh's influence can be felt throughout the video thanks to her signature moves. With her own video reaching 100 million views on YouTube, the singer continued her winning streak with the remix for "Easy" featuring Chris Brown.

The video earned her a Soul Train Music Award nomination for "Best Dance Video" and inspiration for lovers of dance challenges. The Dominican-American might look familiar to many thanks to her contribution to the infamous #InMyFeelings challenge where she managed to hop and bop out of moving car. Ironically, the "Lil Bebe" singer started her career as a backup dancer for the likes of Nelly Furtado and Pharrell. She also choreographed and wrote the treatment for Prince's visuals for "Breakfast Can Wait."

"He wanted it really big in the dance industry so from there, I held auditions and did this video on my own," an 18-year-old Dani told VIBE in 2013. "It's crazy and hard to believe but it was great."

Dani recently released "Cravin" featuring G-Eazy and dropped her debut project The Plan late last year.

Check out the visuals to "BOP" below.

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Serratos has starred in hit series like The Walking Dead, Twilight, American Horror Story: Murder House, and more. In a statement published by Deadline, the show's production company Campanario Entertainment and its president/co-founder Jaime Dávila, praised Serratos for stepping into the "Dreaming Of You" singer's shoes.

“Selena is an inspirational figure who’s transcended generations. At Campanario, we’ve always known it was crucial for this series to find actors with the right mix of talent, charisma, and passion to honor Selena’s legacy and the story of her family,” said Davila. “Our casting director Carla Hool and her team have found an amazing cast to depict the Quintanilla family, and we’re sure fans everywhere will be captivated yet again by Selena’s incredible life.” On March 31, 1995, Selena was murdered, sparking a wave of tributes and films, such as 1997's movie starring Jennifer Lopez as the iconic vocalist.

The program, which chronicles Selena's life and career, is slated to premiere in 2020 with six hourlong episodes. Watch the preview above.

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