Angel Batista, born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Madrid, brings to rap a soulful fusion of hip-hop, Afro-Latino influences and classic Spanish rhythms to navigate social issues. Roc Nation Latin’s newest signee is a Spotify favorite and YouTube success, earning 850,000 streams and 110,000 views respectively, for “Forastero (Foreigner)”, a previous single dedicated to the immigrant experience in the United States.
Determined to forge his legacy in the world of music, Mr. Paradise brings to the cultural equation a catalogue of music that equally speaks to the gamut of human emotion, most recently with “De La 1 Hasta La 90”, which pays tribute to his hood of West New York, from 1st to 90th street. Before any major label backing, it was this neighborhood that wholeheartedly supported his every endeavor.
“With this video, I wanted to express the feelings that transpired as I crossed these streets in search of support,” he tells VIBE Viva. “At the same time, recognizing that I share some of their own experiences, realities and obstacles. Before Roc Nation Latin, the acceptance of the people of this neighborhood was always unconditional. This is for them.”
In the Carlos Sanchez-directed clip, Mr. Paradise is seen traversing his native stomping grounds, peppering the streets with flyers to promote his next performance, all the while waxing poetics on his journey to and struggles of rap stardom.
“It is difficult to reach a dream, and not remember the streets that saw you grow, laugh and cry, contemplating and holding on to each of your steps toward a goal that may seem so unreal. I have lost count of the times I have traveled these varied streets. However, I do remember the many faces of those who passed my way, in search of their own “surreal” dream. I wonder what might have been the reason for their trip to this city, and if they will ever return to their place of origin. Some faces no longer chase that dream, only fight to stay afloat after completing a double shift. But somehow, we all ended up here, after a Transatlantic trip, with no return ticket. Here, I learned that there are simply bad days and good days—like climate changes. I learned that rejection is not personal, and that when there is a motive lit in flames, it does not matter how many times you go from 1st to 90th, from the countryside to the capital, from the valley to the sierra, or from Madrid to Barcelona, that dream are liable to be fulfilled,” says Mr. Paradise.
Making way for hip-hop en español, peep Mr. Paradise’s newly-crafted visual, “De La 1 Hasta La 90”, exclusively on VIBE.com.