With the 50th anniversary of hip-hop fast approaching and amid ongoing debate on social media about whether Latinos, including black Latinos, played a key role in the birth of the genre, Amazon Music recently released a documentary celebrating Latinos. Released “Hip Hop X Siempre”. The people who laid the foundations of hip-hop. Produced by veteran director-producer duo Jesse and Ulysses Terero, the documentary features legendary artists such as Fat Joe, Noah and Residente, as well as Villano Antillano, Eladio Carrion and Mike Towers. , Aleman, Snow Ta Products and other up-and-coming artists are interviewed. This is a defining history of how Latins have contributed to this genre of music and culture over the last 50 years.
“Hip-hop is America’s natural resource,” Fat Joe says in the documentary’s opening seconds. The legendary rapper remarks on how hip-hop has become fair and worthy since its conception.
“This is an almost controversial statement because it is said that the United States was built on other people’s minerals, concentrates and oil. There are myriad theories as to why the United States is what it is today. There is,” Fat Joe told POPSUGAR. “They go abroad and bring back natural resources. But hip-hop is a natural resource that comes from the poorest people in the United States.”
Not only has the genre revitalized the U.S. economy, it has spread globally. Almost every country in the world now has its own hip-hop scene. From Spanish-language rap from various Latin American countries (known today as reggaeton and Latin trap) to French and Japanese rap, hip-hop is virtually everywhere. Historically, however, the Bronx was pioneered by Black and Latinx communities.
“It all started with the poor and oppressed people of the South Bronx.”
“It all started with the poor and oppressed people of the South Bronx,” explains Fat Joe. “Ironically, the South Bronx remains the poorest congressional district in the country, [hip-hop] have [become] Such a rich and precious art form, it’s crazy. ”
Ulysses Terero’s vision for the 30-minute document was to tell the story of how Latinos played a role in it all, from MCs to B-boys to DJs to graffiti artists.
“I think our position in the market, in terms of Latinos being in power, is that we have some of the biggest artists in the world in Spanish. [around] globe. And people still deny our power,” Terero told POPSUGAR. But for Latinos, there is no content that reflects the US experience. it’s not. I can’t tell you the program name. Right now I can’t name what you can turn on, but it feels like a culture you know. I feel like that’s what we are. It feels like an urban Latino living in two worlds, Spanish on one foot and English on the other. ”
That’s why Terero wanted to make this documentary to show a part of hip-hop’s history that isn’t often told and portrayed in movies. A Dominican who grew up in the South Bronx himself, Terero explains how a musical genre born at a time when the Bronx was literally on fire ultimately brought joy and expression to both Blacks and Latinos in the area. I wanted to draw how it came to be offered.
The documentary also puts an end to a longstanding debate that denies that Latinos have existed since the early days of hip-hop. Last year, Fat Joe faced an internet backlash after claiming that hip-hop was created “half and half” by blacks and Latinos.
“My response was not confusing or controversial,” Fat Joe told POPSUGAR. “My reaction was absolutely true. I’m 52, turning 50 this year in the hip-hop world, and I grew up in the Bronx, but this whole hip-hop culture is just outside my house in one place. I saw Latinos breakdancing and doodling …Growing up in the South Bronx, it was all black and Latino…it was us all together like gumbo, like soup, like sancocho.
“Growing up in the South Bronx, we were all Blacks and Latinos….Like gumbo, like soup, like sancocho, we were all together.”
The film not only focuses on how the Latins contributed to the origins of this culture, but also explores how it was reinvented by today’s Spanish-language MCs and reguetoneros. doing.
“Hip-hop is, in some ways, the mother of all genres,” says Angie Romero of Amazon Music, who executive produced the film. “Urbano is talking about Urbano, right? Reggaeton is an expression of hip-hop. Trap is an expression of hip-hop. Denbou is an expression of hip-hop. Everything is an expression of hip-hop because, ultimately, it A story of the underprivileged and the oppressed searching for joy and beauty in chaos, a universal struggle.”
And looking to the future, ‘Hip-Hop X Siempre’ does a great job of capturing how Latinos continue to play a role in the evolution of the genre. As Terero puts it, this is not a documentary “about the birth of hip-hop.”
“What we were trying to do was show the ripple effect. Fifty years ago, someone threw a stone into the water, and there was a ripple. I’m on stage,” says Terero. “The reason these people are able to live and make a living in hip-hop today is because someone pushed the culture back then, they didn’t get rich from hip-hop… What we wanted to do was give flowers to the old school and blend it with the new school so that young children would pay attention.”
Image Source: Amazon Music