Mambo Montage: The Latinization of New York

By Agustín Laó-Montes; Arlene Dávila | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER EIGHT
Hip-Hop, Puerto Ricans, and
Ethnoracial Identities in New York
Raquel Z. Rivera

Word Up magazine did an article where they mentioned me and it was called “The Latinos in Hip-Hop.” What's wack about that is that they have to separate us [Latinos] [from blacks]. And I hated that. I was in the same article as Kid Frost, you know, [who did the song] “La Raza.” And I was like, come on, man, what do I have to do with Kid Frost? It's just totally different things and they're trying to funnel us all together. You never hear an article called “The Blacks in Hip-Hop.”

The above is a fragment of a conversation I had in 1995 with Q-Unique, a skilled and feisty MC who is a member of the Arsonists (a popular New York underground rap group that released its debut album, As the World Burns, in August 1999 with Matador Records) and the Rock Steady Crew (the legendary hip-hop organization better known for its contributions to the dance form known as breaking). A self-described hip-hop 1 activist committed to nourishing a socially responsible, historically grounded, holistic hip-hop creativity, Q. deeply resents being segregated, as a Puerto Rican, from a hip-hop cultural core that is assumed to be African American.

The problem that Q. describes is two-fold. First, hip-hop is ahistorically taken to be an African American expressive culture. Latinos (Puerto Ricans included) are thus excised from the hip-hop core on the basis of a racialized panethnicity. Second, as Latino population numbers and visibility increase in the United States, a variety of national-origin groups (Puerto Ricans, Chicanos, Dominicans, and so on) with different experiences of colonization, annexation, and/or immigration to the United States, as well as different histories of structural incorporation and racialization, are lumped under the Latino panethnic banner (Flores 1996a; Oboler 1995). This wider social phenomenon manifests itself within the hip-hop realm when Latinos are grouped together on the hip-hop margins under the presumed commonalties shared by Latino hip-hoppers.

What does a New York Puerto Rican MC like Q. have in common with a West Coast Chicano artist like Kid Frost? According to Q., the answer is,

-235-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Mambo Montage: The Latinization of New York
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 493

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?