August 02, 2021

Kid Frost - Hispanic Causing Panic (1990)

Country: U.S.A.
Language: English, Spanish (Español)
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Chicano Rap
Label Number: 0777 7 86169 2 4

© 1990 Virgin Records America, Inc.
Hispanic Causing Panic was an early landmark of Latin hip-hop, simply by virtue of the fact that Kid Frost was one of the first Latino MCs to release an album. Of course, it also doesn't hurt to have a groundbreaking lead single on the order of "La Raza," a smoky, laid-back Latin funk groove with anthemic Spanglish lyrics about being brown and proud. It's an utterly distinctive, original sound (and miles better than anything Gerardo ever tried). Unfortunately, it isn't explored very much over the rest of Hispanic Causing Panic. Kid Frost spends most of his time rhyming in English, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but he doesn't make as strong a musical statement as he might have if he'd played with the Latin foundations of "La Raza" on more of his additional material. Instead, he sticks with a fairly typical golden-age production style for much of the album, which is accessible without being overly pop-friendly. What's more, his rapping style largely abandons the sly purr of "La Raza," sounding more like your average East Coast MC of the time (with Big Daddy Kane a particular influence). It's as though he wants to prove he can make it on others' terms as well as his own. There are exceptions, of course: "Ya Estuvo (That's It)" puts on a bilingual clinic in MC skills, and the chilling street narratives "Come Together" and "Homicide" return to the ice-cool delivery that marks Frost at his most distinctive. They're good enough to make the remainder of Hispanic Causing Panic frustrating -- it's good, but it doesn't have enough of what makes Kid Frost so unique.

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tags: kid frost, Hispanic causing panic, 1990, flac,