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Hip Hop’s Hispanic Heritage

When Hip Hop began in the Bronx Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Cubans, Mexicans, and other young people of “Hispanic” Heritage were there making history alongside the young African American kids. The term Hispanic was created by the United States government for various reasons to identify people with familial heritage leading back to the aforementioned countries however the term Latino includes those that are from or have familial heritage from South America. As the culture continued to grow Latinos made their mark and made history. From the Mighty Force Crew DJ Disco Wiz who is widely known as the first Latin dee jay, gave us Prince Whipper Whip who is widely known as the first Latin emcee. Prince Whipper Whip was an original member of Grandmaster Caz and the Fantastic Five and fast forward to the early 90s and we get one of the greatest emcees of all time in Big Pun.

Even now Latinos are continuing to push the culture and whether you like her or not Cardi B is one of the top selling Latina rappers we’ve ever seen. Reggaeton was able to become part of the culture on a major scale with a lot of thanks to Noreaga who is Puerto Rican and African American. Some of your favorite rappers have heritage stemming from a Spanish speaking country. Jean-Michel Basquiat is globally known as one of the greatest artists in American history and he began as a graffiti writer under the name of SAMO in New York in the 70s and he is Puerto Rican and Haitian. The Rock Steady Crew is solidified in Hip Hop history and American Dance history as break dancers. Just some young kids from the Bronx doing what they loved.

Our Latino brothers and sister do not get the credit they deserve for contributing to the culture. They have been everywhere Black Americans have been every step of the way. From radio to television and social media to label executives Latin men and women have struggles that almost mirror that of the Black-American. As members of the African diaspora Latinos were able to hold on to much of their culture unlike African-Americans who had to recreate what culture they had left. Hip Hop Culture allowed us both to come together to create something that was bigger than themselves. Through Hip Hop Culture people across the globe from all backgrounds were able to coexist and come together on common ground. Everyone knows that music is the universal language and to this day you can go to any country on the planet and talk Hip Hop.

“One love, one life, one world, one fight.” Pitbull (We Are One [Ole Ola])

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