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Cumbia Urbana - The Album

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Album Review

When Crooked Stilo parted company with the Univision-distributed Fonovisa Records in 2007, it wasn't the end of the line for the Los Angeles-based Salvadoran rap duo. Victor "Lunatiko" Lopez and his hermano, Johnny "El Duke" Lopez, recorded for independent labels long before signing with Fonovisa in 2003, and they returned to the indie world when they reemerged on Mi Estilo/Select-O-Hits with their first post-Fonovisa CD, Cumbia Urbana: The Album. Stylistically, this 2008 release isn't a departure from Crooked Stilo's Fonovisa output; they still favor a Latin-drenched, club-minded approach to West Coast hip-hop, and they still rap in both Spanish and English. But Spanish maintains the upper hand on Cumbia Urbana: The Album (as it did on their Fonovisa releases), and the vast majority of the lyrics are en español. The 50-minute disc's strong Latin appeal, however, doesn't just come from the lyrics — it also comes from the grooves, many of which combine hip-hop with cumbia. The cumbia influence, in fact, is impossible to miss on infectious tracks like "Ese Soy Yo," "La Charanga," "Perdóname," and "El Vasile." And even though Crooked Stilo aren't reggaetón artists per se, the influence of reggaetón serves them well on "Bouncy" and "Damelo." Cumbia Urbana: The Album has its poignant moments; "Mi Tierra" is a thoughtful ode to Crooked Stilo's native El Salvador. But this is a party album first and foremost, and it is an enjoyable one. In the grand scheme of things, Crooked Stilo's four-year association with Fonovisa is only a small part of their history; the duo was formed in 1991, which means that Crooked Stilo were together 12 years before signing with Fonovisa. So for longtime fans, it should come as no surprise that they came out with a new album only a year after their association with Fonovisa ended. And those longtime fans will find Cumbia Urbana: The Album to be an engaging addition to their catalog.

Customer Reviews


If your a crooked stilo fan this is a must buy album, I love every song , it's there best album! Cumbia Urbana!


Formed: 1991 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Latin Urban

Years Active: '90s

Hip-hop has been performed in a variety of languages -- everything from Japanese to French to Polish -- but if rap has an unofficial second language (second only to English), it is Spanish. Latino MCs have been flowing in Spanish ever since the Mean Machine recorded the bilingual "Disco Dreams" back in 1981. And in Los Angeles -- a city with a huge Spanish-speaking population -- two of the proponents of Spanish-language rap have been brothers Victor "Lunatiko" Lopez and Johnny "El Duke" Lopez, who...
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Cumbia Urbana - The Album, Crooked Stilo
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