Back in march, VIBE sat down with Latino USA’s Daisy Rosario to talk more about the fundamental role that Puerto Ricans and other Afro-Caribbean people played in the creation of hip-hop.
In the latest installment of the two-part series, Rosario, along with fellow producer, Marlon Bishop, explore what happens when rap music is commercialized and how Latino MCs fared in the process.
“I think it’s probably always hard for people to be part of something small that becomes so much bigger, especially when its something like hip hop,” Rosario explained. “Hip-hop is more than the classic four elements. It’s also style, a way of speaking at the risk of being grandiose, a way of looking at the world. We spoke with Latino hip hop heads who grew up in the ’90s generation and even if they don’t b-boy or practice graffiti, they’re passionate subscribers to the culture.”
The culture was more than just a means of expression—it became a place to call home. “We hear from people who immigrated as children,” continued Rosario. “We hear from Cuban rapper Mellow Man Ace, who gravitated towards hip-hop, in part, because he didn’t really fit in where he lived. And we also hear from The Kid Mero, who grew up in a Dominican immigrant household, on how hip-hop taught him about being an American.”
While there is much more to the story, some things were left unpacked for cohesion. Certain coastal movements within hip-hop, for example, were not covered. But Latino USA does speak with radio vets, Bobbito Garcia and Cipha Sound, and pay tribute to the legendary Big Pun.