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Puro Escándalo

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Album Review

Fonovisa Records has never been known for putting out a lot of hip-hop. Their primary focus has been regional Mexican music, which is a healthy niche to have because banda, Norteño, Tejano, and grupero are huge in Mexico and the southwestern United States. Nonetheless, Fonovisa has dabbled in Spanish-language rap on occasion, and Puro Escandalo is a perfect example. Fonovisa obviously wasn't trying to market this 2004 release to English-only audiences; about 90 percent of the lyrics are in Spanish, which isn't necessarily the commercial kiss of death that some non-Spanish-speaking hip-hoppers might think it is — from Barcelona to Mexico City to Buenos Aires, plenty of MCs have earned their living by rapping exclusively in Spanish. The two Salvadoran brothers who comprise L.A.'s Crooked Stilo bring a lot of West Coast influences to Puro Escandalo, which is mindful of Cypress Hill and Funkdoobiest, as well as the more pop-friendly Mellow Man Ace. But Cypress, Funkdoobiest, and Ace never recorded an album that was dominated by Spanish lyrics — and even the Havana-born Ace hasn't used Latin rhythms quite as extensively as Crooked Stilo uses them on this CD, which has a strong tropical influence and frequently incorporates Afro-Cuban salsa as well as Colombian cumbia. In the regional Mexican market that Fonovisa ordinarily caters to, cumbia mexicana (a Mexican interpretation of the Colombian cumbia rhythm) is quite popular; however, Crooked Stilo's use of cumbia is much closer to the Colombian way of doing things. By 2004 standards, Puro Escandalo isn't groundbreaking; the fusion of rap and Latin rhythms has been going on for a long time in the Spanish-speaking world. Nonetheless, this is a pleasing, respectable effort from the West Coast twosome, who remind us that hip-hop doesn't have to be performed in English exclusively to be effective.

Customer Reviews

Good Sound

On the previous review ... let me try to be kind ... "Nice song but I think you could be in English" ... is that serious? Should every song be in English? That's the beauty of this particular music and all of the iTunes Latino genre, for that matter. The Latino section is a great addition to iTunes. As far as Crooked Stilo's Puro Escándalo goes, it's good overall but suffers from sounding all too similar. Ya Lo Saben (yes, the Spanish version) is good and strong. There are some other strong tracks here as well. I also like El Regreso from their album La Revolucion. I founds this group on the iTunes Essentials-Latin Lounge collection ... what a great sampling of Latin Hip-Hop.

kool

this album iz da best so far!!!

very good album buy it!! except 13 and 14

esta bien este album, pero track 13 y 14 son malos porque son reggaeton la mejor cancion es "Mentirosa (Bonita y Mentirosa)"

Biography

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...
Full Bio
Puro Escándalo, Crooked Stilo
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Customer Ratings

Contemporaries