Latin American lyricists, hip-hop artists, and beat makers have long been overlooked in the history of the rap in this country, despite the concurrent development of hip-hop in many Central and South American countries during the 1980’s with the United States in New York. Hip-hop has always been an outlet for describing and relaying the realities of urban life, no matter the country, as can be seen with the birth of narco-rap in the large urban areas in northeast Mexico, like Tamaulipas, where the life of youth has been intertwined with that of violent cartel disputes along the border.
Tony “Hi-Tone” Venezuela hopes to continue that legacy of pushing the boundaries of Chicanos into mainstream hip-hop when he releases his debut album later this year entitled, Price of Admission, via Empire Records. “The Gossip,” a single off of this upcoming album, isn’t the most original of tracks, as his vocals follow the trends that have been part of hip-hop for a while now, and I’m not the biggest fan of lyricists that find and use any and all words that rhyme with each other at the end of each line.
However, his many successful accomplishments, both as a musical artist, business person (he owns a clothing line and production company), and tattoo artist, are thrown into the mix front and center. The repetition of “now they gon talk” shows that he wants to throw everything into other people’s faces and show them that to ignore him, and every other aspiring Latin American hip-hop artist, would be foolish. Let’s hope his debut gives us all something to talk about.