Raquel Rivera’s Reggaetonica has been popping as of late (more bilingual blogs please). This post references recent waves of police violence in Puero Rico, linking to excellent new response songs by Calle 13, Welmo, and Julio Voltio. (I dropped the lyrically stunning Calle 13 one in my radio show last night, approx here.)

Residente Calle 13

[Residente, Calle 13. note Basquiat tattoo!]


if you harbor any doubts about David Banner’s complicated greatness, I suggest you read his Fader interview.


When people come to David Banner they want some pimpin, a little bit of violence, a little bit of God so they won’t feel bad about the pimpin and a little bit of revolution just because they know that that’s me. Past that motherfuckers don’t want shit else from David Banner. I tried to be creative, I tried to change music. Fuck that. We don’t even get the support from our own structures and the shit that we be around. So it’s like, we gotta do safe music, everybody wonder why people in the south do the type of the music they do, because ain’t nobody behind us. We don’t have that support that Eminem has, we don’t have that label support that Outkast has, and then on they last record Outkast didn’t get supported so how can we do something experimental when our label ain’t gonna push it on America? We can’t do what Eminem is doing, like if I had the support that Eminem had…shit I might mix some salsa music with some reggae music and throw some 808s in there, you never know what the fuck a nigga might do. And that’s what movies have done for me. I don’t wanna be David Banner all the fucking time. That’s depressing. With movies I could be somebody else.

[foto by Amanda Marsalis, from Fader 28]


  1. DB does no wrong in my book. He’s really an amazing artist. Have you heard “So Special” or his new free mixtape Spare Clips? –I think the Smoking Section still has it up.

    Hiphop producer extraordinaire Just Blaze’s blog ( has some really insightful interviews with the legendary KRS Uno –in two parts. You have to scroll down a little for the first part. He’s not just talking about the “glory days.” He talked about the current state of the music industry –“Death to the music industry!” and he insinuated that he has been waiting for the death of the music industry for over 20 years!

  2. David Banner rules everything.

    Producing, rapping, talking. The man is so on it.

    Caddilacs on 22s (slowed down) is still exquisite.

  3. wow, it’s rare to see somebody speaking so frankly in an interview. there’s so much bullshit in the music that it’s nice to hear DB saying real things.

  4. Props to DB for sure. great interview.

    Back to the KRS interview though…

    You listen to that yet?

    I’m interested to hear what someone like Rupture has to say about the KRS interview in question. I found it rather cringe-worthy in a lot of areas. Definitely not saying anything new, and as far as his estimation that “hip-hop” is 10 years behind in somewhere like the UK, I seriously disagree (and I’m American). If he means the (small) pockets of people trying to imitate US hip-hop culture, maybe. But as far as music is concerned, not a chance.

    I’m an American, living in East London. Shout out to K. Respect. But I gotta say, the comments about the UK (although socially they are, perhaps, semi-accurate), are WAY OFF. The music industry in the UK is light years ahead of the US in terms of progressive attitudes toward music and styles of production. In the US, cultural cross-pollination of musical styles is slow at best. And forget about a club scene anywhere near that of London ANYWHERE in the USA. It just doesn’t exist. Different cities and music scenes are not as pigeon-holed, and separated (segregated) as they are in the States (Bay Area one noteworthy exception). It just isn’t geographically possible to keep scenes apart. And different cultural influences within the sonic landscape are much more immediate in a place like London (African, Jamaican, and European music styles for starters), than in the US. This happens ALL OVER in the UK, not just in one or two cities.

    MC’s here (in London) are better on the whole, bling is mostly laughed at (or taken off you). Dudes here be wearing dark hoodies ’cause they’re always on camera. Bling only serves to make you a target in London. Guns is nothin’ new here. Maybe with cops, but that’s about it.

    I think K needs to back up a lil’ bit. Shit is next-level in London. 10 years behind? Hardly. Hip-hop (or street culture derived by the same means) splintered long ago here, crossing with other movements and starting completely fresh (urban) music styles. I think K himself is about 10 years behind, to be honest. Hip-hop, as a mentality, is so mch more than just a genre of music (or even the “5 elements” K preaches). It’s all about the modes of production and how we interact with our surroundings. It’s a discipline, a method, and all about how you flip it (art). There are so many artists within underground music (across so many styles) that are far more “hip-hop” than half of the genre’s finest in th mighty US of A. Straight up.

  5. At the same time, I think his estimation of the music biz being deaded, is a fair one. I just don’t hear many people offering ideas and alternate models. I mostly just here them try to jump on the :this is dead, that is dead” band-wagons. Let’s hear where it’s GOING, not where it’s not. Nahmean?

  6. People rate this guy? OK he had some hits but have you listened to one of his albums all the way through (what’s that one where he said he was gonna kill somebody but ended up sounding like a little bitch?)

    In reality hip hop is crazy and people can anything and everybody’s all like ‘awesome!’

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