Growing up in the Barrio, I remember cruising, or hauling ass (depending what area of town we were in) in my brother John’s friend’s car, a guy named Larry. Well Larry was a bit of a gangster and he loved his radio, but the only thing that came out of his speakers were a bunch of Chicanos trying to rap, it was brutal to the ears, really awful distasteful music, and these experiences are what made me avoid latino music.

Fortunately, one day while skipping school, I was hanging out in a buddy’s (Eric) garage with a couple of classmates shooting pool and listening to some music, which happened to be Latino rappers. Unlike Larry’s choice of rappers, the music I heard in Eric’s garage were from a group called Cypress Hill, a group made up of Cubans and Latinos based out of South Gate, Los Angeles.

A lot of music played by Cypress Hill attracts weed smoking fans because a majority of their music is about the green plant people love to fill up their lungs with, but there are songs such as “How I Could Just Kill A Man.” and “Insane In The Brain that made the group famous and have nothing to do with weed.

I hardly listen to Cypress Hill, but when I do, I can’t help but turn up the volume. I credit the group because the group has helped out producers and rappers get their careers started, such as Alchemist, who I frequently listen to who is now signed to Shady Records, Eminem’s record label.

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About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

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