Latinohiphop.org is a blog that has hip-hop videos in Spanish. I watched three of them last night and they were really good. My favorite Latino hip-hop group is probably Cypress Hill, but many don’t think of them as Latino hip-hop. They were a part of the Boom Bap tradition.
So I know Cypress Hill did incorporate some Spanish references into their lyrical styles, but they didn’t deviate too much from the boom bap style (but in the last ten years or more they have begun to switch things up). Same goes for Beatnuts, Funkdoobiest (who were Puerto Rican, Chicano, and Lakota Nation), Lighter Shade of Brown and others who most don’t see as making specifically Latin@ hip-hop, though they were Latin@ themselves.
The Latin@s who were part and parcel of hip-hop in the States in the 1990s helped to develop a kind of hip-hop known as boom bap, but why it it that we don’t think of boom bap as specifically Latin@? Why not all hip-hop for that matter since Latin@s were indispensable to it since its inception? Why is it submerged into the generality of hip-hop? Why is it that when they are cast within the specificity of Latino hip-hop it is done only because of their identity?
This question is complicated when we think of how much American Latin@s embraced black culture, most evident when hearing them use the word “nigga” as their own.
Cypress Hill is hip-hop, yet is also Latino hip-hop. Likewise, Chingo Bling is Latino hip-hop, but also hip-hop.
This dynamic makes me think of Fanon in Black Skin, White Masks who saw the limitations of embracing blackness to the extent that is predicated on negating whiteness. But to become fully human this negation must happen because the only other choice is to be white which is something black people can never become even when they try. So while blackness must eventually be transcended, it can never be in a world were human beings are branded black and others white.
It would be great to hear from my Fanon reading friends if the above narrative is consistent with the text and with Fanon’s dialectical method.