Breakdown FM: Welcome to Sota Rico Meet Maria Isa Minneapolis’ Next Star

Maria Isa is a fixture in the Minneapolis Hip Hop scene.The daughter of two Puerto Rican revolutionaries who used to get down with Young Lords and the freedom movements of the 60s and 70s, Maria brings a well-heeled politic and an infectious vibe when it comes to her music.

We talked to her about Minneapolis’s Hip Hop scene and the important role that groups like the Rhymesayers played in bring attention to a city that for years was only associated with R&B acts like Prince and Morris Day & the Time.

She talked about how steeped Minneapolis is in Hip Hop culture and how all four elements are prominently represented. She talked about Minneapolis being not only home to dope rhymers but also skilled b-boys and b-girls, graf writers and turntable masters. She described it as one big family and that at any given moment something good is jumping off in Minneapolis.

We talked about the important role that annual festivals like B-Girl B played in providing crucial platforms for the female Hip Hop community.She talked about some of Minneapolis’s other female stalwarts like film maker and fellow Puerto Rican Rachel Raimist.We talked about Rhymesayer/poet Desdemona and photographer B-Fresh.The list goes on.

We then turned our conversation to how Puerto Ricans fit in. We were curious as to whether or not PRs in the midwest played a major role in Hip Hop evolution the way they did in New York.We also found out why Maria calls her part of town Sota Rico.. Don’t get it twisted folks, Puerto Ricans have a strong presence in the midwest and they definitely get down.

We took our convo deeper as Maria explained the difference between Latin Hip Hop and Reggeaton. She noted that oftentimes people like to lump them all together, but in fact there are some unique things that one should take time to explore.

Maria broke down the important political situations facing Puerto Rico and how she tries to incorporate much of that knowledge in her music. She talked about the angst many feel because Puerto Rico is a commonwealth which is fancy word for colony. its sad that Puerto Ricans are considered US citizens yet cannot vote for the President except in primaries.

We also talked about the Latin/Brown diaspora and how the importance of bringing about Brown unity especially with issues like immigration. As a Puerto Rican Maria notes that she has the responsibility of giving voice to those who are here ‘illegally’ and can’t speak for themselves.

Maria’s album ‘Split Personality‘ is incredible and packed with cultural and political references and that pay homage to Hip Hop and her Puerto Rican heritage.

Listen to Breakdown FM Interview w/ Maria Isa

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner


Breakdown FM: Paris the Black Panther of Hip Hop Returns w/ Acid Reflux

We sit down with the Black Panther of Hip Hop Paris who talked to us about his new album ‘Acid Reflex’ and the upcoming 2008 elections…

Listen to the Breakdown FM Interview Here:

The Black Panther of Hip Hop, Paris return to the fold with a new album called Acid Reflex.He explains that the title represents the type of reaction he and so many others are having to these corrupt and vicious times. He describe the current political and social climate as acidic.

Paris who is a successful entrepreneur and trained economist kicked off our interview by giving an assessment of the recent Wall Street crash. He noted that everything comes in cycles and that unfortunately people are able to get preyed upon and frightened because they forget pasts tribulations. Paris laid out some of the recent economic downturns including the ones in 1987,the mid 90s and late 90s during the infamous dot com bust.

He explained that times will get worse and we can expect to see further consolidation, more job layoffs and the fall and bankruptcy of bell whether companies. He said the best thing people can do is to be more frugal and hold on to what they got. he explained that a simple act of not buying 5 dollar coffee everyday from Starbucks will move us in the rightdirection. He noted that consumer confidence will have to be increased to help drive the economy.

We also talked about the types of approaches one should take to hold government accountable. Paris is not a big fan of protests especially when we have to run around getting permits and permission to do so. He explained that we have to find ways to make the government afraid of the people. This is a country that only respects and reacts to violence.

Paris also talked about the importance of voting. While he is very clear that voting will not solve our problems, it will give you leverage in a system that you have to engage and oftentimes confront. Political leverage in lots of situations is necessary. He acknowledged that there is no one turnkey solution.

During our interview we talked in great detail about the Presidential campaign of Barack Obama. he says he does not agree with many of Obama’s positions because he comes from an activist progressive orientation.Paris played a key role inCynthia McKinney‘s reelection bid in 2005. He went on to note that in 2008,that politic has not caught on to a point of being electable and henceanother strategy is needed if you wish to win certain races. He feels its impossible for Obama to take certain stances, however there are great differences between him and the Democrats and McCain and the Republicans. He cited the Supreme Court appointments as one key issue to be awareof…

In our interview we set things off by talking about Black-Brown unity and listening to a new song off the ‘Acid Reflex’ album called ‘One Gun’ which addresses this troubling issue.

We also talked about Education as being key to us resolving our problems. His albumwhich drops on Oct 28th will have an education and housing contest attached to it. People purchasing an album with a ‘Golden Ticket’ will win 10 thousand dollars which will go for college or housing.

We ended this interview by talking about why Paris started off connecting the Black Panthers and Nation of Islam and how his travel to Cuba where he met and had dinner with Fidel Castro and Asaata Shakur influenced his life and political outlook