Recently Busta Rhymes was at a birthday party in Puerto Rico and he made sure to bring attention to the fact that Spanish folks have been a part of Hip Hop culture from the beginning, especially that it all got started in the Bronx.
The most notable being Big Pun that made it out of the Bronx and put it on the map for Latinos everywhere. Discovered by Fat Joe, Big Pun’s “Still not Player” featuring Fat Joe and remixed by Knobody from the original version “Am not a Player ”, became Pun’s first mainstream hit and breakthrough for Knobody. In 1998 the full-length album debut Capital Punishment became the first album by a solo Latino Rapper to go Platinum, peaking at no.5 on the Billboard 200.
Capital Punishment was also nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.
Big Pun later became a member of Fat Joe’s Terror Squad, a group of New York rappers and well we all know Fat Joe for his hits especially his 2004 “Lean Back” with Terror Squad and his “What’s Luv?” featuring Ashanti. One of my favorites of the time was N.O.R.E from CNN. Half African American and Puerto Rican he put his own stamp of Hip Hop with hits like “Superthug” “Nothin” and “ Oye Mi Canto” and the now podcast “Drink Champs” giving our Hip Hop legends their flowers while still alive. We will also have a Reggaeton article coming soon with his contributions to that genre.
Returning to what Busta said, I want to give it up to DJ Charlie Chase of the Cold Crush Brothers and in 1982 Devastating Tito from The Fearless Four, the first Hip Hop crew to be signed to a major label. In the 90’s Kool Bob Love aka Bobbito linked up with Stretch Armstrong to head up the “Stretch and Bobbito Show” from 1990 to 1998 where underground rappers went to be heard. They had Biggie, Naz, Jay Z, Cam’ron, DMX and much more for hours of freestyles which take their place in history.
Join me El Bohike and Mz.“Absolutely”Raqui August 19 on IG live @latinbabbler for our top 5 and a continuation of this conversation. While you are at it gives us your top 5 and not just Latinx but your favorite rapper.