Serious big ups to Juan Data from SF (good to chat last week) for this piece on rap-en-espanol + it’s limitations in the US market + solutions. A lot of these topics have been swirling my head + conversations this past week with Chilean-EMCEE Anita Tijoux in town, so props to Juan for laying it down on paper.
It was touching that though Anita and I were from two completely different places, we could both get so emotional to hear ‘Stakes is High’ and start rhyming to each other in unison. This is power.
What I do know…there are SO MANY people to reach who will feel this music – this I know in my bones. I see it happening RIGHT NOW. It’s not IF it will happen…but WHEN.
I must, must highlight this – because I AGREE:
So, what to do to overcome all these obstacles?
Record labels take note: Try to get the product reviewed on English-speaking specialized media. Try to get record stores to place the album in the hip-hop section of the store, not in the reggaetón or Latin pop/rock subdivision where actual hip-hop diggers will never go. Print vinyl. Once again, print vinyl! Real hip-hop listeners still cherish vinyl over all other formats. Pay for a remix from a respected hip-hop producer (Pete Rock, El-P, MadLib…) and release it in 12 inch single vinyl (most hardcore hip-hop heads will definitely buy a record based on the producer, even if they don’t understand the lyrics, and that’s a good way of introducing them to a foreign artist). Pay for a guest appearance by an underground respected English-spitting MC (Talib, Chali2Na, Del…). Cross your fingers from both hands and pray for a less segregated market.
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