Songs We Love: Brownout, 'La Raza'

Songs We Love: Brownout, 'La Raza'

8:54am Oct 12, 2015
Brownout's single "La Raza" is a tribute to Kid Frost and El Chicano.
Courtesy of the artist

Kid Frost is a bit of a pioneer in Latin rap, and his 1990 track "La Raza" is also a ground breaking track, sampling the El Chicano jazz/rock classic "Viva Tirado." All of that is a given.

What blows my mind is that it has been 25 years since that song was released!

Lots of things have changed since then in Latin hip-hop. The genre has exploded all over Latin America. Folk traditions have been respectfully sampled and expanded upon.

And now, the superb Austin-based crew Brownout has revisited the track just in time for Columbus Day ... er, I mean, Dia de La Raza. Produced by Grupo Fantasma co-founder Adrian Quesada, the posse cut features luminaries such as the legendary Cuban-American rapper Mellow Man Ace; DJ Dus (aka El Dusty) and Mexstep of the group Third Root, representing the south Texas Chicano experience; Niña Dioz, an explosive female MC from Monterrey, Mexico; and Afro-Cuban MC Kool AD (from Das Racist) and his DJ, the Chicago-born Amaze 88.

It is short blast of brilliance, like visiting an old friend whom you haven't seen for a while, but the friend remains the coolest person in the room.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Support your
public radio station