Entertainment

From Maxwell To Cardi B, These Afro-Latinos Are A Driving Force In The Music Industry Today

ibeyi2 / Instagram

Afro-Latinos (Latinos of African descent) are often some of the most marginalized and underrepresented when it comes to mainstream media. While artists like Celia Cruz is one of the most notable Afro-Latino artists, there is way people that need to be recognized for their impact. You might be surprised to hear about the origins of some of these artists or even find out that they are Afro-Latino. Here are Afro-Latinos that have made an impact in the music industry today.

Princess Nokia

CREDIT: princessnokia / Instagram

Afro-Puerto Rican artist Princess Nokia comes from New York and has shot to fame thanks to her music celebrating female empowerment. Nokia started off with relative small fave until her debut album 1992 was released in 2017. Since then she has garnered credit for her unapologetic and raw music talking about the day to day life of an Afro-Latina living in New York City.

Miguel

CREDIT: miguel / Instagram

Miguel, born Miguel Jontel Pimentel, is one of the most well-known musicians in the world with hits like “Sky Walker” and “Adorn.” The San Pedro native has a unique musical sound that includes jazz, funk and hip-hop have garnered him many fans worldwide. Miguel is paving the way for a new generation of Afro-Latino artists just like him.

Amara La Negra

CREDIT: amaralanegraaln / Instagram

Afro-Dominicana Amara La Negra is unique not only in name but in her artistic message. She has become an outspoken voice on the Afro-Latina identity that shows how she has embraced her African roots. Amara is one of the fastest rising artists in the industry that is sure to keep making more waves for years to come.

Young MA

CREDIT: youngma / Instagram

After creating a huge name for herself with the rap anthem “Ooouuu” in 2016, Young MA has become one of the hottest MC’S in the game today. The Brooklyn native with Puerto Rican and Jamaican roots has shown her skills as an artist and a producer. The 26-year-old is also a philanthropist in her own community. The Kweens Foundation, founded in 2018, helps low-income families by assisting single mothers who’ve lost children to street violence.

Ozuna

CREDIT: ozuna / Instagram

Easily one of the biggest stars of reggaetón at the moment is Afro-Latino artist Ozuna. Hailing from Puerto Rico, Ozuna is part of a mixture of artists that riding high on the trap reggaetón scene in music today. He’s scored big hits with other stars like Bad Bunny and J. Balvin that are making a huge splash on the mainstream music scene.

Cardi B

CREDIT: iamcardib / Instagram

What’s there to say that hasn’t been said about Cardi B? She made the leap from reality television to the top of the Billboard charts in 2017 in seemingly effortless fashion. Since then, Cardi has released a Grammy-nominated album and has grown a following on social media of well over 40 million fans. Looks like there is nothing that can stop the Dominican Bronx native from reaching the top.

Chocquibtown

CREDIT: Chocquibtown / Instagram

This Grammy-nominated group has garnered acclaim for their fusion of Afro-Colombian sounds with a hip hop feel. The group consists of Carlos “Tostao” Valencia, his wife Gloria “Goyo” Martínez, and her brother Miguel “Slow” Martínez. They all bring a unique sound to the table that is unmistakable in today’s music scene. Chocquibtown discusses Afro-Latino identity and taking pride in its native region in many of their songs. The group is widely respected in their hometown of Choco, Columbia and are already being recognized here in the U.S.

Maxwell

CREDIT: maxwell / Instagram

The Afro-Puerto Rican singer has made a name for himself in the music industry by playing by his own rules. Many have credited Maxwell with influencing what has been termed the “neo-soul” movement that what popular in the late ’90s. He’s been compared to artists like Erykah Badu and D’Angelo because of their impact on the R&B genre.

Kid Cudi

CREDIT: kidcudi / Instagram

It may come as a surprise to some but Kid Cudi has Latin roots in his blood. His father is of Mexican-American descent and has incorporated some of that Latin style in various songs. Cudi rose to fame with hits like “Day N Night” and has worked with some of the biggest hip-hop artists of the last decade. His psychedelic sound and far-out production have made him one of the most influential rappers of the 21st century.

Maluca Mala

CREDIT: malucamala / Instagram

If you haven’t been introduced to Maluca Mala yet here’s your chance to learn a bit about this Afro-Dominicana. Born Natalie Ann Yepez, she quickly rose to fame in 2009 for her experimental electro hip-hop sound. The rapper hails from New York and has been very vocal against some of President Donald Trump’s policies. Mala’s unique sound and unmatched attitude alone is a reason to check her music out.

Esperanza Spalding

CREDIT: esperanzaspalding / Instagram

Esperanza Spalding is a star in her own right. She plays several different instruments masterfully—including bass, the oboe, the violin, and the clarinet. Spalding even sings in three languages and played for former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House. Both of her parents are of African and Hispanic descent. The Grammy-nominated artist has been able to make a name for herself in the world of Jazz all while keeping her roots proud and loud.

Ibeyi

CREDIT: ibeyi2 / Instagram

This dynamic twin sister duo of Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz, or simply known as Ibeyi, are one of the music industry’s fasting rising stars. The talented 22-year-old sisters were born in Paris and grew up in Havana, Cuba which influenced their unique sound. Both sisters play multiple instruments including piano and traditional Peruvian percussion instruments like the cajón and Batá drum. Ibeyi got their biggest break when they appeared on Beyonce’s Lemonade HBO special in 2016. With hits like “River” and “Me Voy”, the duo is clearly just getting started.

Nitty Scott

CREDIT: nittyscottmc / Instagram

The daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and an African-American father, Nitty Scott, has been one of the more versatile females in rap this decade. She has worked with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Action Bronson cementing her name into the hip-hop scene. Scott’s last album, Creature!, released in 2017, aims to empower women in the Afro-Latina community and is regarded as her best work to date. Here’s hoping Scott is releasing more music in the near future.

Aloe Blacc

CREDIT: aloeblacc / Instagram

His voice has been the background to countless hits this past decade and there seems no sign of that stopping for Aloe Blacc. Born to Panamanian parents, Blacc has made a name for himself in mainstream music with his strong vocals and soulful bravado. Best known for his chart-topping singles like “I Need a Dollar” and “The Man,” Blacc has had cross-over success few could ever dream of.

Don Omar

CREDIT: donomar / Instagram

Don Omar is a pioneer in the reggaetón genre. The Puerto Rican singer has always stayed true to himself and his musical roots. He’s worked with some of the most well-known reggaetón genre like Daddy Yankee and Pitbull. It’s no surprise when you think of reggaetón Don Omar is always mentioned.

Taio Cruz

CREDIT: taiocruz / Instagram

The part-Brazilian and part Nigerian Taio Cruz is a pro when it comes to making music that just gets us up on our feet. Born in London, England, Cruz made his debut back in 2008 but it wasn’t until his hit singles “Break Your Heart” and “Dynamite” did he make a big name for himself. He also co-wrote the hit David Guetta song “Without You.”

Swizz Beats

CREDIT: umpg / Instagram

Swizz Beatz is a man of various talents. He’s a record producer, a DJ, a rapper, a painter and even a fashion designer. Born to a mother of Afro-Jamaican and Puerto Rican ancestry, Beatz has made a name for himself in the music industry. He’s worked with some of the biggest artists in the game including Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Nas. He is also married to Alicia Keys and has a baby with the acclaimed singer. The Grammy-nominated artist doesn’t show any signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Mariah Carey

CREDIT: mariahcarey / Instagram

Mariah Carey has made an impact on modern music like few others have. From her amazing singing career to her aspiring film career, Carey definitely has had her imprint on pop-culture the last 20 years. Carey has Afro-Venezuelan roots due to her father and is something she has talked about at length that has impacted her life. She has sold well over 200 million records and is bonafide star any way you put it.

DJ Jigüe

CREDIT: dj.jigue / Instagram

Cuban music experimentalist and historian, DJ Jigüe has performed on countless stages all around Europe and South America. He might be relatively unknown in the mainstream music scene but when it comes to house and dance music, Jigüe is the man. Hailing from Havana, Cuba, he has been able to uproot his career and rise to the top of various music festivals around the globe.

Alex Cuba

CREDIT: iamalexcuba / Instagram

This Latin Grammy-award winning artist is a star in the world of Jazz. Hailing from Artemisa, Cuba, he changed his name from Alex Puentes to Alex Cuba because of his adoration for his home country. He’s won and been nominated for just about every major award you can think of. But for Cuba, it’s not about the accolades. It’s all about making sweet jazz music that brings people together.

Bruno Mars

CREDIT: brunomars / Instagram

He came onto the music scene in 2010 and if he retired after that year we’d still be talking about him today. Bruno Mars, who is of Puerto Rican descent, has made some of the most popular and critically acclaimed music of this decade. With songs like “Uptown Funk” and “Just The Way You Are“, Mars has proven he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.


READ: 25 Inspiring Afro-Latinos To Celebrate For Black History Month

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This Afro-Latino Engineer Created a Meditation App That Helps POC Meditate On Micro Aggressions, Self Worth and Our Ancestors

Culture

This Afro-Latino Engineer Created a Meditation App That Helps POC Meditate On Micro Aggressions, Self Worth and Our Ancestors

Indian Yogi / Unsplash

Raise your hand if you’ve used a meditation app that works for you until the “teacher” tells you to let go of the idea you can change the world around you. Often, whether it’s your white, blonde yoga teacher or that app, it can be triggering to enter the safe space of your consciousness only to feel triggered by a tone-deaf mantra.

Julio Rivera was one of those people that tried the existing meditation apps only to feel discontent. Some people want to change the world and when your community is in crisis you have to believe that you can change the world. Thankfully, Rivera is an engineer and decided to go out and make his own app that would be a truly safe space for people of color.

Liberate Meditation is “dedicated to empowering the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community on their journey to find inner peace.”

Credit: Liberate Meditation / Apple Store

“We want to help empower people, not only to meditate but to show them that there’s something you can do about your suffering,” Rivera said of the app. “We can help each other get free and be liberated.” The app is made by POC for POC.

It all started when he finally found the POC sangha at New York Insight Meditation Center. He finally found a spiritual home and wants “folks of color all over the world to know that they are not alone.” With that, he embarked on designing an app that would do just that.

You can scroll through different categories depending on your needs at that given moment.

Credit: Liberate Meditation / Apple Store

The topics range from Ancestors, The Body, Gratitude, Love, Micro Aggressions, LGBT Pride, Self Worth and more. Then, once you choose which topic you want to engage in within yourself, you can select from 5 to 20-minute meditation sessions. 

The app also offers non-meditative teachings, which sound more like empowering, resounding speeches from the Teachers. For example, Dr. Valerie Mason-John offers a talk on “Reconciling Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Non-Self.” Hearing non-POC talk about shedding attachment to identity and self can feel frustrating for POC. We spend so much of our lives wrestling with our identities and when we’re able to claim them with pride, its an act of defiance and self-love. I feel this especially around my gay identity–something that my parents tried to beat and pray out of me. Dr. Mason-John’s soft eye into “how the Dharma offers liberation from the suffering that comes from attachment with our identity” is much more palatable given her experience as a queer person of color (QPOC).

All of the voices you will hear on the app are from Teachers of Color.

Credit: Liberate Meditation / Apple Store

The User Interface (UI) is clever–allowing you to browse by topic and by teacher. If you find a teacher that resonates with your experience, you can immediately find a list of other teachings and meditations of their own making. When you click on their teacher card, you can read a biography of their experiences in culture, sexuality and more.

“It’s not unusual for people of color to survive by keeping parts of ourselves hidden,” Teacher Cara Lai describes her meditation on “The Power of Belonging.” “We learn to behave in certain ways when we have needs. We learn to hinder our creative expression for social acceptance. This meditation helps us open to the things we’ve locked away to regain our wholeness.”

Liberate Meditation is absolutely free to use.

Credit: Liberate Meditation / Apple Store

The reviews are in. People are finding refuge within themselves thanks to the app. It’s clear that Rivera has tapped into a market that has been widely ignored by the wellness industry. Instead of pretending that the harms of external racism and internalized racism don’t exist, the Teachers are acknowledging it, allowing an opportunity for healthy release.

“You will not just mediate, you will be found,” writes one reviewer.

Credit: Liberate Meditation / Apple Store

Another reviewer maintains that “This app is not just some icon you press in your phone to relieve some stress before getting out of bed in the morning.” It’s much more than that. For them, “it is a creation to help our kin heal, rebuild and liberate. You see yourself in this, you find yourself and you take in the words of those who have lived to speak wisdom to you through those guided meditations. You will not just meditate, you will be found.”

Liberation Meditation is available on iOS and Android devices.

READ: We Have Latinos To Thank For Some Of America’s Biggest And Strongest Businesses

This Veracruz Taquería Made Marvel’s Thanos Twerk In Its Hilarious Ad

Entertainment

This Veracruz Taquería Made Marvel’s Thanos Twerk In Its Hilarious Ad

Takesabroso / Facebook

If you’ve ever visited Mexico, you know that copyright laws seem pretty lax. There are all kinds of Pokémon, Disney, and Cartoon Network inspired goods from piñatas to costumes in most mercados. The same can be said for tv ads. Takesabroso, a taquería in Veracruz, México, has jumped on the trend and created a stellar ad for their food using Thanos and his unknown twerking skills. Jorge Lajud produced a commercial for the taquería that artfully mashes up a scene of villain Thor from “Avengers: Endgame” and a montage of tacos and other Mexican food. Like any other art form, you have to see it to appreciate it.

The video has gone viral with over 5.5 million views thanks to it being posted on Twitter.

Credit: @goingonajournie / Twitter

The commercial starts with a scene we’re all familiar with–the moment Thanos thinks he has all the Infinity Stones and offers a build-up to the moment he wipes out all of mankind. Spoiler: he doesn’t. Thanos says, “Yo soy inevitable,” snaps his fingers, and nothing happens.

Then, instead of the scene cutting to superhero Iron Man, we see Takesabroso owner, Luis Vazquez, dramatically saying, “Yo soy Takesabroso.”

Credit: Takesabroso / Facebook

He snaps his fingers and saves the day with a montage of Takesabroso’s menu items. In the bottom left-hand corner, supervillain Thanos seems to be happy with how terribly his plan failed and is twerking up against the lechón on screen. 

Yup. Thanos is twerking to cumbia.

Fans are here for it. As video rolls on burritos, tacos, and rotating meat, Thanos just keeps on dancing cumbia in the corner. “It’s the twerking thanos that really tied it all together,” commented one fan.

It’s official. Thanos is now Thaños and is clearly invited to every carne asada.

Credit: @troyareyes / Twitter

That little tilde on the “n” goes a very long way in making Thanos a true dancing Latino icon.

Some folks are worried that Takesabroso isn’t going to get away with using Marvel footage.

Credit: @Westside_LEE / Twitter

Personally, we think Thaños is far more appealing than his evil twin, Thanos. Mexicans have basically responded to this tweet with pure laughter. “Marvel lawyers trying to stop a Mexican restaurant from stealing intellectual property? Good luck,” tweets one fan.

This has prompted a whole other thread about different ways folks have seen Mexican restaurants “give precisely zero f***s.”

Credit: @urfriendktt / Twitter

One person seemingly well versed in copyright infringement tweeted their two cents, “Well it’s not illegal the clip used is not long enough to be considered plagiarism and its transformative enough to be fair use but Disney has sued for less and won lol.” 

Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame” was the final installment of the “Avengers” franchise and is the highest-grossing film of all time. The timing of the video is smart given that Disney released “Avengers: Endgame” on Blu-ray and DVD this week.

The rest of Latin America has also chimed in to share ways their countries don’t care about copyright.

Credit: @racampos / Twitter

“My fave: Harry Potter y el Orden del Taco,” read one reply. Nope, we’re voting for “Harry Potter y el trompo de pastor” for the win. 

“In Mexico City, we have a place named “Tacos Goku” or also there’s “Tacos Megaman” the copyright is like a joke for them,” one Mexicano tweeted. Another said he ” remembered a tortilleria called “El Thor-tillero” on León, near the bus station (central camionera).”

This isn’t the first time Takesabroso has ventured into hilarious advertisements…

Credit: @jorgelajudm / Twitter 

Takesabroso’s video editor in resident, Jorge Lajud, recast the restaurant owner in a scene from Venom and then had his form be overlayed by a Ricardo Milos dancing. Note the floating images of tacos and burgers floating around him. It’s pretty clear Vazquez is also absolutely delighted by these commercials.

Takesabroso has welcomed the wide response from folks and even dedicated a Facebook post to its fans. “Takesabroso not only seeks to bring flavor to your life, but it also seeks to bring joy to your heart,” Vazquez posted. “This meme is viral, thanks to all.”

The woman responsible for gifting the video to Twitter, which took it viral, is using her platform to promote non-profit RAICES Texas.

Credit: @goingonajournie / Twitter

The Refugee Aid Project, commonly known as RAICES, is the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas. It’s staffed with 130 attorneys, legal assistants and support staff whose sole job is to offer legal representation to immigrants at risk from America’s current immigration policies. In 2017, they closed 51,000 cases at no cost to the client.

You can donate to RAICES here.

Watch the full video below!

YO SOY TAKESABROSO

YO SOY TAKESABROSO

Posted by Takesabroso on Friday, August 2, 2019

READ: 20 Hilarious Taqueria Names That’ll Fill Your Tummy With Laughs!

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