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Marjua Estevez

Growing Up Latina With 'Orange Is The New Black's Jackie Cruz

Jackie CruzOrange is the New Black breakout star Marisol Gonzales—knew at the age of six she was destined for greatness.

Jackie CruzOrange is the New Black breakout star Marisol Gonzales—knew at the age of six she was destined for greatness. While living in the Dominican Republic, a single trip to the movie theater during a screening of The Bodyguard, starring Whitney Houston, would spark a vested interest in becoming Hollywood's next 'it' girl.

"I fell in love with Whitney when I saw her on the big screen," she tells us. "And on my walk back home from the movies, I told my mom I wanted to be a singer and an actress."

After surviving homelessness and, later, a coma from a nasty car accident, she turned to modeling while waitressing at a New York establishment before being cast as our beloved Flaca on the Netflix hit series. Today, not only is she making once-lofty dreams a tangible reality, she's doing it with the industry's crème de la crème to insure no vision is left unfulfilled. "Right now, I’m having Rémy Martin Circle of Centaurs partner with me because they believe in my voice—that’s just something that seemed impossible not too long ago."

As the newest mentor of Rémy Martin's Circle of Centaurs, Cruz will serve as a personal mentor for someone who has demonstrated musical flair and a natural ability to explore his or her many inner talents.

Raised between Santo Domingo and Queens, New York, Flaca has plenty to be thankful for, lots of which she credits to growing up Latina…

To those who wanted a little spanish 💋 Ser @latina es una de las mayores bendiciones con las que fui premiada. Yo no elegí ser latina, pero que gran privilegio es poder serlo. Les invito a que miren a cualquier mujer latina y encontraras en ella gran resilencia, hermosas cicatrices de amar profundamente y sabiduría obtenida de las victorias conquistadas a raíz del trabajo arduo. Ser latina es haber nacido con amor puro y pasión, pasión por todo lo que hacemos. Ya sea cocinar, limpiar, cuidar a los niños, o llevar vida al arte. Todo lo que hacemos es con pasión, amamos con pasión, cualquier hombre o mujer lo suficientemente afortunado de tener nuestro corazón puede dar testimonio de ello. Nosotros luchamos por nuestros sueños, y nos elevamos por encima de aquellos que quieren hacernos sentir inferior y derribarnos, porque en nuestra sangre corre una larga línea de reinas que se han sacrificado para traernos a la tierra de las oportunidades. La historia de nuestra cultura es fuerte, nuestros colores son tan brillantes y nuestra hermosa e unificadora lengua hoy día es enseñada en casi todas las escuelas secundarias de la nación. Nuestra gastronomía esta presente en cualquier menú, nuestra calidez, el arte de seducción, y la determinación indomable nos convierte en parte de las mujeres más hermosas del mundo. No asimilamos la tierra donde estamos. La tierra no tiene más opción que hacer suficiente espacio para nosotras!! Ser latina es un regalo, y un privilegio. Como cualquier corona por supuesto, solo quien la lleva soporta el peso. Debemos preservar nuestra cultura y traspasarla a las próximas generaciones para que ellas también puedan reinar como nosotras. #soylatina 👑 🇩🇴 #DR #Santiago

A photo posted by Jackie Cruz (@msjackiecruz) on

Unforgettable childhood memory:
Besides every Tuesday eating Domino's 2 for 1 pizza? [Laughs] It would definitely be seeing The Bodyguard in the Dominican Republican. That's the reason why I wanted to become a singer and an actress.

Favorite home cooked dish:
I don't like to cook that much, but when I come home to the DR—pastelón de plátano maduro. It has carne molida (ground beef) and cheese in the middle, with sweet plantains layers. That, or meatballs. Meatballs and lasagna! I'm also part Italian, you know. 

Craziest Hispanic proverb as told by mami or abuela:
El que quiere moño bonito, aguanta halones, or "whoever wants beautiful hair takes the pain." Sounds better in Spanish. [Laughs]

Blue is the warmest color #Flaritza @dianeguerrero_ @oitnb @netflix #lovemylife #grateful

A photo posted by Jackie Cruz (@msjackiecruz) on

Che Guevara moment (or your greatest moment of rebellion):
When I pulled the fire alarm in night grade... To make friends. It was really like a movie. During lunch, everyone was like, 'Jackie's gonna pull the fire alarm.' And I'm like, 'no I'm not.' Come on girl, we want to like cut class. Come on. And I didn't have any friends because I was new. And I'm like, 'no, I'm not gonna do it.' And then everybody's just like telling me to do it, right. And then it's like this moment. I see the fire alarm, the bell rings, no one's looking. I'm like, boom, I did it. When I walked out in the hallway, everyone's high five-ing me. I was instantly the coolest kid. I was like, 'Yeah! I did it! I did it!' But then I went back to class, while everyone skipped class.

I went back to class because I was the good kid. School officials came at me and asking if I confess I won't get suspended. And I'm like, 'yes, it was me!' [Laughs]

But then I made a good friend, Patty with the helmet. I swear to god she was the nicest person in high school. Patty, thank you. High school was torture. I wanted to get out of there. I was nerd alert. Nerd alert. Even when I tried to be bad, it was awful. People were writing graffiti on walls and I wrote whore the wrong way. I wrote, 'Jackie is a hore.' And I wrote it the wrong way. And people were dying laughing at me. Yeah, it was f*cking hilarious. It never worked out for me.

I first saw myself as Latina when…
Dancing. Dancing was always a point of connection for me. I think because I noticed that not everybody could dance. I just felt it in my blood, though. I don't know, you're just born with it, right?

Chupacabra or el cuco? 
Los dos, pero el cuco. Definitely el cuco. La Chupacabra, definitely, I heard it a lot. But el cuco, like my family would scare the sh*t out of me with that story.

Poor man's meal:
Ramen noodle. I ate that for a whole year in Miami. I was really skinny too back then.

Household cure-all/remedy:
Vivaporu! [Laughs] Vick's VapoRub.

I had the honor of being at the unveiling of Selena @tussaudsla Yesterday! Selena was and continues to be, an idol for so many, especially for young girls who dreamt of being singers and entertainers. Myself included. Thank you for breaking all the barriers you did for Latinas, for women and for young girls in entertainment. Thank you for whole heartedly pursuing all your passions from designer to musician, because in that pursuit you tore down doors for many of us. Selena's life was cut short but her impact, legacy and most importantly her music will never be forgotten. #selenaquintanilla #neverforgotten #mireina👑 thank you @nelsontavareznt for this custom Selena inspired design and @priscillaono for my make up 💋 and @yuichi0503 hair nails by @nails_byely 💅🏽 #dreamteam

A photo posted by Jackie Cruz (@msjackiecruz) on

Salsa, Bachata, or reggaeton?
Salsa for me. I know that's not like a "Dominican" thing. But reggaeton is like when you're with your girlfriends and you like to booty dance or show off with boys or whatever. But salsa is something that I guess—it's an art to it. I love it.

Telenovela guilty pleasure:
Maria del Barrio from back in the day. Oh, and Dos Mujeres, Un Camino.

Historical hero or heroine?
Selena. I've watched every video documentary of her. I just feel like I know her. She's just such a beautiful person. And she did so much at 23, and I feel like she broke barriers at such a young age, and made a little 7-year-old like me think she could do it, too. So that's my hero.

Life mantra:
Don't put a timeline on your dreams.


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B-Real, DJ Muggs, Sen Dog, Eric Bobo of Cypress Hill attend a ceremony honoring Cypress Hill With Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame on April 18, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
Tommaso Boddi

It's About Time: Cypress Hill Receives Star On Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Cypress Hill doesn't always get the credit they deserve for their impact on hip-hop history, but they've been honored forever with a revered star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

With a career of 30 years, the legacy of the four-man group of B-Real, DJ Muggs, Sen Dog, and Eric Bobo (along with former member Mellow Man Ace) includes six platinum albums and 90s zeitgeist songs like "How I Could Just Kill A Man," "Insane In The Brain," and "Hand On The Pump." They released their self-titled debut in 1991 and the chart-topping follow-up Black Sunday two years later,  and have continued creating ever since, releasing their ninth and latest album Elephants On Acid in September 2018. Cypress Hill are considered West Coast rap legends, and the first Latino rap group to have multiple gold and platinum records. Anchored by Muggs' gloomy, gritty production and B-Real's nasal, charismatic rhymes, Cypress Hill is as much a part of rap history as anyone.

The group's ceremony included speeches from Latino comedian George Lopez and fellow West Coast rap legend Xzibit, who said 'it's about time' before detailing the group's illustrious career.

Xzibit pointed out Cypress Hill not only brought Latino representation in an industry that largely lacked it, but that they were staunch marijuana advocates way before today's growing legalization.

"The Grammy-nominated group showed us stoned is indeed the way of the walk. Long before the days of legal dispensaries and medical marijuana, Cypress Hill were advocates of that sticky icky icky oooh wee!" Xzibit shared. "...Cypress Hill are pioneers in their own right. Their accomplishments and accolades reach deep in the roots and history books of hip-hop, and today is another chapter in that saga. Yo B-Real, Sen Dog, Muggs, Bobo: you are our Rolling Stones, Ungrateful Dead, you are the West Coast Public Enemy."

Lopez insisted that out of all the 2,600 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, "there are none more important than the one we're about to unveil for Cypress Hill. There's a lot of actors, there's a lot of comedians, there's a lot of entertainers who are on this (Walk of Fame). But there's only one cypress hill, the first Latino hip-hop group. But to everyone who lives the American dream, not the last Latino hip-hop group to ever be on the Hollywood Walk of Fame."

Cypress Hill's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is unveiled pic.twitter.com/cNtpIUd8Xg

— Variety (@Variety) April 18, 2019

Xzibit says "it's about time" that Cypress Hill gets their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame pic.twitter.com/DHap9UkzXq

— Variety (@Variety) April 18, 2019

George Lopez says there are 2,600 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but "none more important than the star we are about to unveil for Cypress Hill" pic.twitter.com/wuaakjKp6u

— Variety (@Variety) April 18, 2019

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Getty Images

Cypress Hill To Make History With Star On Hollywood Walk Of Fame

After 30 years in hip-hop, Cypress Hill is due to make history with their latest accolade. The multi-platinum selling group is set to become the first Latino American hip-hop collective to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The induction ceremony, presented by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, takes place on April 18 in front of Greenleaf Restaurant located on Hollywood Blvd.

George Lopez and Xzibit will help unveil the star alongside Rana Ghadban, president & CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. The free ceremony is open to the public and will be live streamed via WalkofFame.com.

“We are proud to honor the first Latino American hip-hop recording group,” said Ana Martinez, Producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame said in a press release. “They have been successful as a group for three decades and we know they will continue their success for many years to come.”

Cypress Hill, comprised of B Real, Sen Dog, DJ Muggs, and Eric “Bobo” Correa, is noted as the first Latino-American hip-hop group to have platinum and multi-platinum selling albums with more than 18 million records worldwide. In the early 1990s, Cypress Hill became the first rap group to have two albums in the Billboard 200 thanks to the success of their self-titled double-platinum debut and their sophomore effort, Black Sunday. The album went on to sell more than three million copies and spawned the rap classic “Insane in the Membrane.”

Cypress Hill released their ninth studio album, Elephants On Acid, last year. Following the Walk of Fame induction ceremony, the group will perform at the famous Whiskey a Go Go club in Hollywood.


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Join us for our induction to the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

A post shared by Cypress Hill (@cypresshill) on Apr 9, 2019 at 11:36am PDT

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Miguel Drops Spanish-Language EP 'Te Lo Dije'

In an ode to his Mexican heritage, Miguel has released a five-track project that is the Spanish/Spanglish version of his 2017 War & Leisure album. Te Lo Dije features collaborations with fellow Spanish-speaking artists Kali Uchis, C. Tangana, Dante Spintetta and Emmanuel Horvilleur, as well as Mexican Mariachi girl band, Flor de Toloache.

Miguel's Spanish-language project is one that he has been teasing his fans with, hence the name of the EP, Te Lo Dije. The phrase means "I told you so" in Spanish and also happens to be the name of a song on the EP. On this collaborative effort, Miguel is mixing in his R&B vibes with his Latin ties, so for fans looking for a mixture of both, they can listen the Spanish version of his hit, "Sky Walker" featuring Spinetta and Horvilleur. Uchis can also be found on "Carmelo Duro" showing off her Colombian roots.

This is the 33-year-old artist's first Spanish-language project and he even said that he thinks he likes "these songs better in Spanish." The R&B artist took to his Instagram account to his express his excitement on Te Lo Dije, as well as give props to people who helped him through the process.

"FIRST RELEASE OF THE YEAR," he wrote. "TE LO DIJE (a selection of songs off of W&L en español)."


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FIRST RELEASE OF THE YEAR ! TE LO DIJE (a selection of songs off of W&L en español) I want to thank my cousin @yeyasmiles and @flordetoloache, @kaliuchis and @c.tangana and everyone that helped me translate these songs 🙏🏾. I think you might like these better in Spanish. Enjoy . Love you

A post shared by Miguel TV 📺 (@miguel) on Apr 5, 2019 at 9:22am PDT

Make sure to listen to Te Lo Dije here.

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