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Dominican merengue star Kinito Méndez (born José del Carmen Ramírez) got involved in popular music at the age of nine while participating in a band called Pequeños del Ritmo. In 1988, he formed a tropical act called Cocoband along with Alfonso "Pochi" Vásquez. After that, he formed the group Rikarena, his second project. In the early '90s, the singer/songwriter, producer, and arranger joined Rockabanda, deciding to start his solo career in 1995, recording El Hombre Merengue, getting his song "Cachamba" topping the most important Latin charts. In 1997, Kinito Méndez made El Decreto, working on Barrio Boyzz' Ven A Mi that same year. In 1998, the popular performer, also known as El Hombre del Merengue, decided to pay tribute to his mentor Johnny Ventura, recording A Caballo, followed by 1999's Su Amigo. 2000's D'Colores featured "Nueva York Pasando Lista," which was inspired by the social reality of Latin Americans living in New York.