September is National Hispanic Heritage Month. What does that mean? It means that in schools everywhere children will be taught that Cinco De Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, only to forget that bit of trivia when they are of drinking age. But around here it means it’s a chance for us to talk about Latinos in hip hop. As always, this is our list so it’s right but you’re welcome to try to convince us that we’re wrong.
This isn’t a list that’s ranked in order, but there’s a reason why we put Pun first: he’s the best. The breath control and rhyming skills that Pun exhibited were unmatched. Not only was he the first Latin rapper to go platinum, but he was simply one of the best rappers alive. And he left us too soon.
“La Raza” is the Latin hip hop equivalent of “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud.” It was one of the first rap songs that talked about Brown Pride in such an “in your face” manor. Aside from being a pioneer in hip hop, Frost also had pretty good flows.
A Lighter Shade Of Brown
If you don’t know that what Ruben had was plain and simply apple juice then you don’t know Latin hip hop. Actually, some might say you don’t know hip hop at all.
Mellow Man Ace
Mellow Man Ace was more than just Sen Dog’s little brother. He taught a lot of us how to call a girl a liar in Spanish. That alone is enough to make the list. Fun Trivia: Mellow Man Ace at one point was in Cypress Hill.
Chingo Bling brings much needed comedic relief to hip hop. He doesn’t take himself seriously and you shouldn’t either. Over the past few years he’s fashioned himself as a Mexican Weird Al, but he’s seriously talented, don’t let the comedy take away from the fact that he can actually make good songs/music.
When we talk about hip hop pioneers, in general, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Cypress Hill. They weren’t just pro-weed rappers, they were gangsta rappers. Real gangsta rappers. “Hand On The Pump,” “How I Could Just Kill a Man,” and “The Phuncky Feel One” are just a few of the classic tracks the trio blessed us with over the years.
Dr. Dre missed the boat with Joell, but Dre does that a lot. If you’ve never heard the Latin Teddy Ruxpin spit, take some time to look at the video below, and then peruse his numerous freestyles and songs on YouTube. You’ll quickly see why a lot of people consider him the best spitter in Slaughterhouse.
Jealous One’s Envy was a fantastic album and if you were a hardcore hip hop head in the early 90s you listened to it. But it wasn’t until Don Cartegena that Fat Joe really began to shine and show his full potential. Fat Joe has bars, but he also knows how to make a song which is something that makes him stand out from the crowd.
Snow Tha Product
So we caught some heat because we left Snow off of our Best Female Rapper’s list. To be honest, half of us had never heard of her (Some of us are old). We did our research, though, and were pleasantly surprised. The girl can flow.
Pitbull didn’t always rap with the likes of Ke$ha. At one point he actually made music that minorities liked.
Yup, Mr. 305 is on our list. Some people might not remember this, but before he was wearing tuxedos and salsa dancing with Ke$ha on the beach, Pitbull was an actual, honest-to-God rapper from the hood. He's never been a super lyrical individual, but he can make a song for ladies to shake their asses to. Pitbull might want us to forget that he had songs called "Culo" and "Toma." More importantly, Pitbull teamed up with Puffy and created <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Boy_Latino">Bad Boy Latino</a>. He's the only real artist on the label, but it's a start.https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=D2N7POlWaEE
N.O.R.E., previously known as Noreaga, was one half of the 90s rap group Capone N Noreaga. Once his homeboy Capone got locked up, again, N.O.R.E. went solo and was able to shine. Tracks like “N.O.R.E.,” “Superthug,” and “Oye Mi Canto” prove that N.O.R.E. should be mentioned whenever talking about influential rappers, whether they be latin or not.
You may not know who The Beatnuts are, but you definitely know their music. The Beatnuts may not be lyrical giants, but production wise they are legit hip hop royalty. Just ask J-Lo.
He’s certainly not for everyone, but no one can deny that he can rap well. Immortal Technique’s revolutionary flows and witty wordplay definitely mean he deserves to be on this list. It also helps that he thinks Kanye’s clothing line is for idiots.