Hip-Hop? Yes, Hip-Hop is undergoing major structural changes. According to a recent study, Latinos are the biggest supporters and consumers of hip-hop. Latinos are also quickly becoming the top emcees and deejays. So, why are Latin rappers not heard on the radio, or seen on MTV?
For years, the music industry led us all to believe that Latinos don't support Latin hip-hop, so why should they give the artists distribution, and their glow in the limelight? We support Latino sitcoms, films, Spanish Rock, Latin pop, but not hip-hop. Something is not right here!
After investigating the Latin Hip-Hop Scene, the conclusion is: The world better watch out! Despite what has been preached to us by the Industry, there is tremendous support for this movement from the underground, and it's quickly gathering speeds, heading straight into all homes of every race throughout mainstream America. To further prove that Latin Hip-Hop is a major force to be reckoned with, there is a documentary done by Safada Y Sano Productions called Pass The Mic!
Pass The Mic! is a thought-provoking look into the history of Latinos in hip-hop. The film outlines the Latino involvement in hip-hop. It?s at hip-hop?s birth, showing the pain and struggles endured to break the barriers and earn equal respect as their Black counter-parts.
The battle for respect is a common theme, and the methods Latin artists go about obtaining that respect is inspirational. Hearing firsthand how music artists are forced to give up a huge percentage of the profit to record labels in order to get a deal just so they could move out the barrios and pay the bills, is sad. Yet it reflects the power major labels flex over musicians. Each story the artists tell hooks you into their exotic lives. Mixed in with fresh underground music beats Pass The Mic! is definitely worth checking out.
Just as inspiring as the artists themselves were the filmmakers struggle to get this movie produced. Through a director?s interview, crew bios, and production notes provided in the DVD and official movie web site http://www.passthemic.net, you gain an understanding of what it takes to make an independent Latino Film.
To see this film get distribution in stores is a blessing; the film?s tagline is ?Finally, Their Stories are Told?? but it should read ?Finally, A Latino Film not flooded with stereotypes??
The DVD version has an enormous selection of Bonus Features, ranging from poems to music videos and extended interviews. It is to be released on February 11th, 2003 by Image-Entertainment, but I was able to pick up a copy from Best Buy.
Photo by Sal Rojas, originally published on http://www.brownpride.com
Frankie H. works at furthering Latinos in the Entertainment Industry. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org