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Album Review

This Is Latin Hip-Hop Vol. 1

This Is Latin Hip-Hop

[Nacional; 03/20/2012]

Rating: 3

By Beverly Bryan

March 16, 2012

Latin for Beginners

The title This Is Latin Hip-Hop Vol. 1 suggests that this compilation from Nacional Records is a definitive survey, but caveat emptor. There’s a lot more Latin hip hop out there than there is on here, a lot more than one compilation can easily encompass. But then, Here Is Some Latin Hip-Hop Vol. 1 wouldn’t have sounded as boss.

The fifteen track collection is heavy on U.S.-based duo Ritmo Machine and its components (Eric Bobo and Latin Bitman), along with Chilean emcee Ana Tijoux, so much so that it could pass as a Ritmo Machine mixtape. (Not that many people will complain.)

That said, it’s a relatively musically diverse album and there are some choice cuts on here, like Tijoux’s dread-filled “Shock,” and the significantly less political “Poder en el Cuarto” by Cuarto Poder. And it’s got all the hits: Bomba Estéreo’s “Fuego,” Ms. Tijoux’s “1977,” and Choc Quib Town’s “De Donde Vengo Yo.”As such, it’s a great introduction to some of what’s out there for those just tuning in, and as good a party soundtrack en Español as you are likely to find in a single release.

There is the “Vol. 1″ part of the title, and we hope that’s operative here. This volume is at least nice enough to make a head look forward to volume two.

Preview with “Shock”:

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