Rappers, Executives Gather At Latin Rap Conference


Fourth Annual Latin Rap Conference took place last week in New York City.Latin

MCs, producers, marketing firms, radio stations, and label execs joined forces

Oct. 12-13 for the two-day Latin Rap Conference, which focused on strengthening

the rapidly growing Latin Hip-Hop, urban, and reggaeton communities."My

main goal was just to try bring the Latin rap and reggaeton industry together

for the purpose of empowering it," Jesse "Shysti" Perez, founder

of the Latin Rap Conference told AllHipHop.com. "I knew that there is strength

in numbers and if we can get united we can actually make plans for getting major

labels to recognize the genre [and] that we would help the music grow.

"The first

conference we spoke about major labels noticing our genre, and by the second conference

there was Bad Boy Latino, Wu Tang Latino, [and] Machete," Perez continued.

"There's all these divisions opening up in the major labels from one year

to the next, and that just inspired us to keep on moving."During

last week's independent artist showcase, Latino artists from around the world

came together to showcase their talent. A panel of industry executives also gathered

to speak about the state of Latin Hip-Hop.According

to Los Angeles radio personality Khool Aid, one of the biggest hurdles facing

the Latin Hip-Hop genre is the alienation created by sub-genres, which may have

divided the Latin Hip-Hop community."You'll

hear a lot of people talk about reggaeton, Spanish rap, Chicano rap they're all

sub-genres of Latin Hip-Hop," said Khool Aid, who hosts the nationally syndicated

Latin Hip-Hop show Pocos Pero Locos."Unfortunately

the Latino wasn't the normal face in Hip-Hop so it wasn't what Hip-Hop was supposed

to look like, according to the face that was painted to mainstream media. So it

was really hard for a lot of Latino artists to break the doors down in radio and

in media."Despite

the many challenges facing the genre, most attending the conference agreed that

progress has been made.As

for what's to come in Latin rap, label executives think the next major movement

will come from a Mexican MC. Rich

Isaacson, once president of Loud Records, predicted another breakthrough for the

Latin rap industry."Whatever

it's going to be is going to come from the West Coast or Texas, and then were

going to see another major earthquake in the genre," said Isaacson, who has

worked with Latino artists such as Fat Joe, Big Pun and the Beatnuts. "It's

going to happen--it's just a matter of when."