Lexicon Interview

Lexicon is a Puerto Rican Hip-Hop artist coming from New York City.  Although he is not known on a national level, his experiences with Hip-Hop on a local, personal and in-depth level provide a viewpoint into Latino Hip-Hop that is infrequently considered.


What is Hip-Hop
Current Hip-Hop Movement
Justifying Latino History in Hip-Hop Culture
Role of Hip-Hop in Politics
Immigration Pattern and Message Conveyed
Links to Latino Hip-Hop Artists
Lexicon Interview

Who first inspired you to become a latino hip-hop artist?

I think my main inspiration to become an artist came from my family. My father & uncles are musicians. I used to grow up watching them record on a reel to reel in my aunt's basement. i think subconsciously, that sparked something in me. My love for music was developing before I ever realized it. As far as my appreciation for Hip Hop goes, I am inspired by plenty of artists to this day. My main inspirations musically would have to be Rakim, Native Tongues and Diggin In The Crates. Also groups like Gang Starr and Cypress Hill that had their own original sound. Artists like Masta Ace, Nas, Mos Def, Prodigy, Big Pun and Big L that really made an impression on me lyrically. I'm fortunate to have came up in an era where Hip Hop embraced diversity and respected talent. Even on the radio.


What do you think about the current hip-hop movement and what are some of the main issues that hip-hop artists in new York are rapping about?

I think that the Hip Hop music being made today is better than ever. It's just not being presented to the public like it once was. There are so many talented artists making music right now that may never see the light of day. And it's become so easy for people to set up a home studio that anyone with the spare time can throw together 12 songs and say they have an album out. In that regard, there is an over saturation of rappers looking to get in the game. That makes it harder for people who are dedicated to making good music break into the industry. There are so many variables to take into account tho. The industry is more accessible now than ever before and it's almost become a joke because of it.

As far as the New York scene goes, it's competitive. Same as ever. A lot of people complain about how New York is out of the spotlight and everyone wants to single handedly bring it back. The real issue is that the New York rap scene lacks a sense of community. It's like an unwritten rule for NY rappers to hate on everyone that isn't part of their crew. It's not the way I feel, but unfortunately it's a common mind set. I think cats are starting to realize now that Southern Hip Hop made it's rise to the top by grinding hard and supporting one another. That's what we need to do. We need to stop making songs about bringing New York back and start making songs that represent New York. Don't get me wrong, Tru Life and Busta Rhymes did the right thing by making anthems that New Yorkers can appreciate. But instead of supporting that message dudes tried to steal and recreate it over and over again to the point where it looks like we're bitter at the bottom. Cat's need to stop following suit and start addressing real topics. Props to Papoose for making that record regarding the Sean Bell incident. That's what NY needs. People to stand up for each other.


What are your goals as a latino hip-hop artist?

I think my goals reflect that of any hip hop artist (not only Latino) that truly loves this music. I'd like to put a message out to as many people as possible through my music. This hip hop thing started years back and has evolved in so many forms, but there was a good point in time when hip hop served as the voice of the oppressed in this country. You don't really get every angle of that these days. I'd like to be put on a public forum and discuss everything I can think of to the world. Talk about instances that are positive, negative, fun, difficult, happy, sad, angry and so on. I really just want to get to the point where I can financially support my family through music while maintaining artistic integrity. I don't want my artistry to suffer, regardless of my situation. I have some growing to do as far as life goes and I want to express that growth through my art.