Hispanic Heritage Month: Houston Latino rap artists making their mark in music industry

SOUTHEAST HOUSTON, Ingrando Park – Local rap artists are making their mark in the Houston rap scene by telling the struggles of the Hispanic community.

“The voice of the Latino rapper is not one that is being pushed out as much as people from other races or other cultures,” said Houston filmmaker and journalist, Camilo Hannibal Smith.

They said Houston Latino rap artists are known all around the world for their unique beats, rhythm and flow.

“We’ve pioneered our own style here. Everyone just knows, other main-stream artists know we have a different flavor here,” said rap artist, Santino Alcoser, also known as Uncle Tino.

“I want people to know we’re just very different as far as other places, that’s the beauty in Latino rap is that you can be from a different side of town and tell a different side of the story,” said Jorge Rolando Frias, also known as Bo Bundy.

Smith is currently working on a documentary, “The Houston Raza Rap Project.”

He wants to show the world how big of a role Latinos have played in the rap industry and continue to do so today.

“That’s what my documentary aims to show that their voice is on par with others and also to shine light on all the talent here in Houston,” Smith said.

He said it all started back in the 1990s.

A group of childhood friends started writing and performing about the good, the bad and the ugly in their southeast neighborhoods. Rap artists Grimm, Shadow, Filero and Ikeman took a picture together, which later became their first album’s cover.

Never did they imagine they would become pioneers for young Houston Latino rap artists.

“I was just lucky to be a part of a lot of things going on in Houston at the time, we were just some of the first Mexicans doing it. It’s pretty cool a lot of the Mexican guys they pay a lot of homage, pay a lot of respect,” said rap artist Isaac Sanchez, also known as Ikeman.

Smith hopes the world continues to learn about the Latino culture through the eyes of Houston area rap artists. Because they have incredible stories to tell, he hopes the world will listen.

“A lot of these guys are talking about their neighborhoods, they’re talking about their families, they’re talking about issues present today, like, immigration and things that are specifically affecting Latino culture," Smith said. "A lot of these guys are talking about that and they are giving a voice to this segment of the population which is really necessary.”

The documentary is still in production and still looking for more funding. If you are interested in learning more about the Houston Raza Rap Project or how to donate, click here.