"Using modern technique, I place a beat in a rap..."

1991 and 1992 felt and sounded different because of Cypress Hill's self-titled first album. Partly due to B-Real's re-working of hip-hop verse styles, his high-pitch vocals indebted to salsa singers as much as to the Beastie Boys, a wider range of influences than most rappers then. (As Dres of Black Sheep: "If it's about anything than it's got to be style.")

B-Real invented an unforeseen style. Though some songs continued this innovative approach later, nothing in their career equalled that first album. Not the least of its contributions to remind listeners, Latinos have always been a part of hip-hop.


Went to the Parque Amigos de José Martí in Ybor City yesterday afternoon, took photos and read the inscriptions on the mural and statues. Martí lived in a house belonging to friends on that spot in 1893. He would write and read late into the night and sometimes people came to see him through the windows while he worked. The park was dedicated in 1960. By that time Ybor's Cuban, Spanish and Italian families had mostly moved out to West Tampa and elsewhere.


"Never get so attached to a poem
you forget truth that lacks lyricism;
never draw so close to the heat
that you forget that you must eat."

(Joanna Newsom, "En Gallop")

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