If you look up the history of Hip-hop music, there is always credit given to the African-American youth of the Boogie Down Bronx, who created the most popular genre in the world, out of nothing. They used their stories, life experiences, and their natural talent to create music which has since resonated with people all around the world. But it wouldn’t really be hip-hop without also giving credit to the other two POC groups who helped create the genre and seasoned it with their influence — Caribbeans and Latinos.
Latinos have virtually been erased, or at least consistently left out, of stories regarding the origins of hip-hop. But we were there! Hip-hop is made up of four elements: MCs/rappers, B-boys/B-girls, graffiti, and DJing. Did you know that a lot of the b-boys, or breakers (calling these talented dancers “breakdancers” or referring to the style as “breakdancing” is considered to be both inaccurate and passe), were Latinx (more often than not Puerto Rican)? Pioneering breaking crews such as the Rock Steady Crew and the New York City Breakers had Latinx members and founders.
Surprised? Let’s learn about 15 Latinxs who were there at the birth of hip-hop (repping all four elements). They helped create the entire genre. By doing so, we will be writing Latinos back into hip-hop history.