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Hip-hop listeners, photographer unknown

Black Americans fail to realise that their political and social condition are more than coveted. If only five per cent of enslaved Africans were sent to the United States, their treatment surpasses that of the others.

No one cares for the condition of the Afro-Cubans, Afro-Boricuas or Afro-Peruvians for a specific reason. The Black Americans are descendants of enslaved Africans it is true, but their experience differs from the others’. They were brought to live in the number one nation on earth, the United States of America. Though exploited and crushed, they are the number one minority in town and because of this, another great minority wants to replace them by any means necessary, the Latinos.

Manipulated and bought back by the US corporations as early as the 1970s when they were granted the rights to mass consumerism as anyone else, the Black community slowly forgot about the resistance of their elders in the 1960s. They became easily gullible and were more welcoming of other groups and communities among their ranks.

During the 1960s, as a representation of the world fight against imperialism, black and brown alliances were born. It was not the first time in history that Afro descendants and Natives had helped and supported one another. The Natives had also enslaved the Blacks at some point as well. Due to this alliance, many Boricuas, in the East Coast, grew up in the black American experience and reinforced their Americanization through that aspect.

Angie Martinez, Fat Joe are some examples. There are three waves within the Puerto-Rican experience: those who were always Americanized, those who live in the island and the ones who descend from parents who had just arrived from the island.

Due to political and social proximity there is a false belief that Latinos created hip-hop along with the Blacks. This is not only a fallacious statement, but also a constant attempt at replacing invading black American spaces and cultures. Even back in the early days, some politicians such as Arturo Schomburg, of Afro-Boricua ancestry, knew how to respect Black American boundaries. The Young Lords were also Afro Boricuas and did not try to replace Black Americans. The modern Latino rappers such as Fat Joe now want to rewrite history in music.

1- Latinos Never Created Hip-Hop

Eric B and Rakim, late 80s/Rakim Estate

Hip-hop in New-York is a Black American style to which Latinos from the East were drawn to. They did not create it as they mostly were dancers and into the graffiti movement. Historically, rap comes from West Africa and is purely African in essence as it goes back to the culture of the griots. Other populations in Central Africa also had rap techniques which clearly preceded the arrival of the colonizers. Though they claim to have helped create rap music, old gospel and Negro spiritual songs dating back to the 1930s are evidence showing that older black Americans always used the rap technique they inherited from their West African griot ancestors. Yet, for economic reasons and a quest for political elevation, the Latinos want to hijack it.

In the Latin world, reggaeton which has always been a black Afro-Latin artwork and way of expression came from Panama. It was known as “reggae en espanol” before it became reggaeton. The source of origin of the sound was Jamaican. It was in the late 80s and 90s that it reached Puerto-Rico where it became commercialised and whitewashed. Yet, using the same colonial tactics as the Spaniards, the Latinos claim the proximity to blackness to appropriate a style which was never theirs in the first place.

Though many Eastern American Caribbeans carry a real African heritage, it is more than important to remind the readers that after 400 years, new clans were formed. The African-Americans are not a fantasy and constitute a real people with a new culture. The Afro-Brazilians, Afro-Peruvians and/or Afro-Cubans constitute other clans with other cultures. It would be false, even through the spectrum of pan-Africanism, to state that all black cultures are the same and can be appropriated by any body black or Afro descendant.

Since they do not know where to stand, as the Northern European powers who colonized the US always had a disdain for the Southern Europeans and their colonies in the US, the Latinos have to use the technique of their white Spanish colonizers in order to infiltrate spaces which are not theirs, for fear of falling down if forced to stand on their own in the roughness of raw US capitalism.

2- The Big Pun Factor

The late great Big Pun/Big Pun Estate

Caribbean Latinos like Fat Joe were originally scared of claiming their heritage until Big Pun came on the scene. The Mexicans from the West Coast were the first to openly place their Mexicanity at the center with no shame before anything else. There was no way for them to bow down and hide their roots. But such pride was not the case for the Eastern US Latin Caribbeans who always tried to imitate the black American style and mostly hid their heritage to fit in.

When interviewed by vulture DJ Vlad, Tony Sunshine, singer and former member of the Terror Squad, confessed that Fat Joe was not happy with the song 100%. The parts rapped in Spanish, as well as the salsa rhythm were problematic to him as he feared the black American would mock them. But with the release of that song, for the first time in decades, the Bronx Puerto-Ricans had an anthem.

In reality, there would have been no Latin pride movement in the late 90s and throughout the 2000s without Big Pun who was the central point of this cultural affirmation. Yet, Pun did not put the Boricua heritage ahead but rather the Afro-Indigenous pride heritage of his lineage, hence a novelty which broke away from the whitewashed Caribbean culture represented by the likes of Gloria Estefan in the 1980s. Though it is not recognised enough, Pun contributed to the emergence of the Afro-Latinos too.

Later, when the Fat Joes and Nores were afraid of claiming their identity in the 1990s, they got involved in a Latin pride throughout the 2000s. In 2007, the video for Mas Maiz featured Afro-Latinos, Natives and White South Americans and Caribbeans. That reality did not exist before Big Pun.

The latter was the one who contributed to a major change regarding the status of the Latin Caribbeans, not the others on the ideological point of view. Yet, regarding the technique, Pun was incredibly talented but did not depart from the traditional black American formula established by his elders since his idol was Kool G Rap. In other word, Pun was still rapping in the Black American style and did not change the traditional black codes at all.

3- No Latin Rapper Ever Changed The Rap Industry


Despite it all, no Latin rapper has ever managed to change the hip-hop industry. The Latin Caribbean community has no Rakim, not even a Biggie or a Tupac.

Rakim remains the father of modern music as he marked the departure from the traditional disco/rap genre from the early 1980s to a much more laid-back flow which incorporated lyrics related to the street scene before many others. If Michael Jackson is the father of modern-day entertainment, Rakim holds this place in the hip-hop realm. All revolutionary musical figures in hip-hop were and are black men, women, not Latinos. Rakim, Nas, Tupac, Biggie, The Naughty By Nature, Shyne, Bone Thugs N Harmony, The Fugees and so many others set the bar and kept the standard high. The Latin Caribbeans were always a group exploited to mark a form of diversity but were never powerful enough to hold any longevity in the genre.

If Terror Squad had all the power to change the course of history, the death of Big Pun contributed to the downfall of the collective as the rappers, though extremely good, did not manage to rival with the genius of the Nases or Biggies.

4-The Manipulation Behind The Afro-Latin Movement

The great Victoria Santa Cruz. Afro-Latinos surely are African, but their blackness and culture greatly differ from the Black American experience they do not belong to.

With the rise of social media, especially in the late 2010s during the orchestrated BLM protests, talks on identity and race increased. And for the first time for the clueless, the case of the Afro-Latinidad became trendy.

Fifteen years ago, the Afro-Latinos shown in documentaries were dark-skin, unmixed and Negroids. Now, only the mixed-race Afro-Latinos are shown. And many Latin Caribbean with African lineage use this as an excuse to invade black American spaces and justify their behavior. Cardi B, Fat Joe, Daddy Yankee are a part of this movement.

They either claim a triracial heritage to downplay the brutality of segregation (Yankee) or claim Africanness to promote filth (Cardi B), say the N-word (Fat Joe, Cardi B, Veronica Vega) and defile traditional African culture (Fat Joe’s Yes “A** Up, Face Down“)

Very few Latin Caribbean in rap actually claim African lineages to promote its excellence.

Princess Nokia, though a Taino-looking woman, claims Yoruba and showcased the depth of such spiritual culture in her videos.

Black Americans who remain clueless on Caribbean Latin culture believe in the triracial myth and are easily manipulated into accepting Fat Joe’s claims, when they should not. If Joe is surely of Afro-Cuban lineage, Afro-Latin blackness is not Black American blackness at all. They are not the same at all.

5- How Black Americans Allowed The Latinification

Fat Joe falsely claiming that all Latinized groups are black. Though he has African ancestry, Joe is still apart of the Latin group and is not a black American man.

Black Americans have proven over the past few decades to be extremely gullible expecting the “good white people”, aka the Democrats, to support them. Yet, in their cynical political technique, the Blacks are flattered to elect them, but are abandoned as soon as the Democrats are elected.

In reality, the Democrats enjoy humiliating the Black Americans by the choice of their ‘black” candidates. Indeed, the “left” has so much disdain for the black Americans that they chose Barack Obama and Kamala Harris as symbols of improvement and representants of their community, while the Republicans, though not better at all, often choose dark skin and unmixed Black Americans the media want to look over.

They’d rather choose the son of a Kenyan, and an Indian-American with little Jamaican black as their models when the two are nothing less than the mixed-race faces of white supremacy. Obama is only black through Michelle and Kamala is an Indian who always hated black men she sent to jail massively by hiding the evidence of their innocence. Though, despite it all, millions of unmixed black women who hoped to be closer to Harris due to her racial admixture and closeness to the door of escapism they have been deprived of due to their Negroid heritage, voted for her, despite the disdain.

This lack of gatekeeping and protection of their community on a political point of view, led to the damage of their many cultures, infiltrated by other groups, whether Latin Caribbeans, Caribbeans or worst, by African immigrants who ought to play with black ambiguity and pan-Africanism.

If the Black Americans do not think wisely, they will be erased and replaced by the hungrier groups to become the number one minority of the United States of America.

By Victoria “VKY” Kabeya, All Rights Reserved, originally written September 7th, 2022

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