Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Hip Hop Hoodios! Jewish Mexican Xicanosmosis or Hip Hop in a Sombrero (Wearing a Yarmulke)

This posting is a shoutout and a riposte to my good friend Leon Lanzbom, who wails that the Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog gives short shrift to the daughters and sons of Israel!  Check it out:


Carne Masada: Quite Possibly the Very Best of the Hip Hop Hoodios


** ½

Hip Hop Hoodios is a Latino Jewish hip-hop group working triple cultural entendre wordplay (hoodios is for judios, Spanish for Jews). Which should make it just a novelty act, except the music is good, the rhymes rock and it's passionate (if often silly) about the music. No, we can't get too serious about songs like Havana Nagila (with a Cuban Ahi Nama mix) or the klezmer-urban antics of K**e on the Mic (''My sound is fresh, like a pound of flesh''). But we sure can enjoy them. And hey, with Hoodios working a fourth ``best of'' release already, we may no longer be able to ignore the power of Latin-Jewish-urban culture.

The Hoodios are Josh ''Josue Norek'' Norek and Abraham Velez, both of whom work in the Latin alternative music biz -- ergo illustrious guests from Ozomatli, Delinquent Habits, The Klezmatics, and others who pump up Hoodios' musical chops. Juan Caipo of Orixa helps make Ocho Kandelikas into a ska punk Hanukkah breakdown, and there's some real Cuban swing -- and sharp rhyming from Kemo the Blaxican of Habits and Wil-Dog of Ozomatli -- on Viva la Guantanamera, an attack on the Cuban prison.

Hoodios show its conscience in songs like Guantanamera and Agua Pa' La Gente, about the corporate theft, um, buy-up of water rights in Latin America. But they're at their best with gleefully cheesy, sleazy, cliché-takeback songs like D---s & Noses (``You like our [bleep] and you like our noses, you see a Jewish guy and you forget where your clothes is'').

Oh, and if you're disappointed, the Hoodios are offering the ''First Ever Reverse Madoff Digital Money Back Guarantee.'' Anyone who doesn't like Carne Masada can send in their sales receipt for a full refund. How's that for messing with cultural stereotypes?



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