Latin Roots

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Latin Roots #6 - The Rise of Latin Hip Hop w/ Josh Norek - March 22, 2012

On this sixth segment of the Latin Roots music series, the co-host and executive producer of The Latin Alternative - a one hour radio show of Latin funk, hip-hop, and electronica - is in the studio to introduce Latin hip hop. Josh Norek is also a musician, producer, and journalist who currently works for the Latin indie label Nacional Records as VP of Business Affairs & Digital Relations.

He and David Dye will explore some of the history and current directions of Latin hip hop. Arising first on the West Coast during the '80s and '90s, Latin hip hop was the manifestation of the mixing of cultures. As young members of the Hispanic population became exposed to urban rap sounds and shaped it into their own style, their beats began to spread from LA to the East Coast and then down through Mexico and South America. Artists began to incorporate Spanish language and other genres by turn (such as jazz in the case of Ana Tijoux and klezmer in the case of Norek's Hip Hop Hoodios), and Latin hip hop itself has become an influential musical force across the globe.

In this session, David Dye and Josh Norek explore the cultural dispersion that has helped create Latin hip hop. On both sides of the border, young artists began to sample their parents' music and combine it with the sound of burgeoning hip hop groups such as NWA. Since then, the genre has matured and become an influence in its own right. Norek plays from Tres Delinquentes, who he describes as the first 'post-racial' Latin Hip Hop crew, and also outlines the spread of the genre into South America with a smooth trip-hop arrangement from Ana Tijoux.

Check out the Spotify playlist for The Rise of Latin Hip Hop. Listen to the full session at WorldCafe.NPR.org.


Session Playlist

  • Show Tracks:
    • Delinquent Habits, "Tres Deliquentes"
    • Ana Tijoux Feat. Jorge Drexler, "Sacar La Voz"
  • Listen to the Playlist:


Latin Roots is made possible by a grant from the Wyncote Foundation.

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