Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hip Hop Hoodios - Viva la Guantanamera

Hip Hop Hoodios - Viva la GuantanameraI am now officially a member of (meaning I clicked to join) the myspace Jewish Rockers group. I may be 20 15 10 years too old to really be a rocker, but I figure it's not really a mid-life crisis if I never stopped listening to music and my new Dr. Marten's Quartz Cap Toe Shoe are just office-friendly replacements for my favorite harness Wellington boots. Am I sounding pathetic yet? My lovely wife just pats me on the head and smiles when I go on this rant. sigh.

Anyway, the first thing on the Jewish Rockers forum that caught my eye was a notice about the new Hip Hop Hoodio's EP "Viva la Guantanamera"
"Oye! Latino-Jewish crew Hip Hop Hoodíos will be releasing the “Viva la Guantanamera EP,” a special digital-only album benefiting Amnesty International, on August 1st. The new song “Viva la Guantanamera” is an allstar collaboration with members of two Grammy-winning artists (Ozomatli & The Klezmatics), and also features contributions from Kemo The Blaxican (of Latin hip-hop pioneers Delinquent Habits), and Walter Miranda (Beastie Boys, Plastilina Mosh). Hip Hop Hoodíos are tying in with Amnesty International’s campaign to close Guantanamo Bay Prison and encourage the full restoration of due process, and are donating 18% of net profits from digital sales of the “Viva la Guantanamera” single to Amnesty. You can listen to and preview the new single "Viva la Guantanamera" here: www.myspace.com/hiphophoodios"
I have to say, I've had the previous Hip Hop Hoodios EP, "Raza Hoodia" for a while and while I thought it was ok, it didn't grab me enough to get their follow-up album "Agua Pa' La Gente." After listening to the "Viva la Guantanamera" track on their myspace page, it's clear I need to revisit Raza and maybe shell out for Agua and Viva.

This is great stuff. Part of it is the production. Viva has the Hoodio's sound, but the production screams Ozomatli. Which is a great thing. WilDog from Ozo has a knack for setting hip-hop vocals against acoustic instruments (I mean horns, here) in a way that makes hip-hop more like Latino party music than a modern urban dance sound. I'm not sure that's a great explanation, but boy does it work for me. Ozomatli is also interesting to listen to because of the Arabic influences. WilDog has previous Jewish music credentials from doing a cool remix of Irving Fields version of Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen for a Reboot Stereophonic "Passover Remix" album.

Here's the Hoodio's Gorritos Cosmico from "Agua Pa' la Gente"

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Viva Hip Hop Hoodios!

I love these guys too. Nice to see them pushing the envelope, as always.....

Jack said...

Yeah. I'm glad to see them bushing their boundaries. "Raza Hoodios" had a strong Latino sound, but, for me, came off as novelty album. C'mon. "Dicks and Noses" and "Kike on the Mike"? If you're going to have fun with stereotypes, you've got to be a lot smarter about it than these songs and the their rap "A Jew for Allah, A Jew for Jesus, A Jew for Malagras and Telekinesis" was funny but pretty light weight.
The Channukah track "Ocho Kandelikas" was cool as a novelty song. The only track that really grabbed me and suggested these guys were a band to watch was the title track "Raza Hoodia." I heard a real music voice there behind the silliness. Anyway, I just grabbed Agua Pa' La Gente from emusic and am looking forward to giving it a spin.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, "Agua Pa' La Gente" was a BIG step up from 'Raza Hoodia'. In my mind, Raza was just a demo - then the group got signed and had a proper recording budget.

It's really cool to see an openly Jewish group have an audience that is also heavily Latino and non-Jewish. Times are definitely changing!

Jack said...

Yeah, I'm with you. It's amazing how many bands there are now that are placing their Jewishness (however they define it) front and center.

Jack said...

Ok. So I bought 'Agua' and have been listening to a lot. It's pretty great and even the tracks from Raza Hoodios that I didn't like before (like 'Kike on the Mic') are really growing on me.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, the rest of the world is catching on to Hip Hop Hoodios too!

iTunes Latino made their new single "Viva la Guantanamera" its Single of the Week, and the new digital album is also sitting pretty at #18 on the iTunes Latino Top 100 Albums chart (ahead of Shakira and Marc Anthony).

I just bought the "Viva la Guantanamera" EP and I'm digging it....

-Miguel

Jack said...

Hey! Thanks for the note. I didn't know that the Hoodios were getting that much attention on the Latino charts. That's great.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, iTunes Latino is very supportive of cool groups like Hip Hop Hoodios. Funny that the group sometimes gets more support from Latinos than Jews. As a Latino Jew myself, I appreciate Jewish bloggers like you spotlighting one of my favorite groups.

-Miguel

Jack said...

That's cool that the Hoodios have got a big Latino following. They certainly deserve it. And as for my blog, I'm interested in any music where the musician self-identifies themselves or their music as being Jewish. So viva the Hoodios.

I'll be honest, other than the Hoodios I don't have much exposure to Latino Jews or Jewish culture. Any good pointers you could give me? Any other bands I should know about?

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