There are things everyone seems to understand about hip-hop. Although the exact borough has been debated by some rappers, no one argues that it was started in New York City. Its incontestable elements include deejaying, rhyming, graffiti writing and breakdancing. The primary sources — DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa — are known as the genre’s holy trinity. The music element of hip-hop is widely credited as a Black American genre, and to many folks, that’s an inarguable fact.
Recently, Fat Joe stirred the rap origins’ pot during a video tribute to Latinos in hip-hop, in which he claimed hip-hop was started by “Blacks and Latinos,” half and half. Twitter was displeased with his assessment and commenced dragging the outspoken rapper. But while we don’t always agree with Joe, he wasn’t exactly inaccurate in this case. If you think about the folks who are considered pioneers of the genre, hip-hop was actually created by Caribbean immigrants, some of whom are Latino.
Just in case you don’t believe us, here are 14 hip-hop pioneers of Caribbean or Latin American descent.