Latinos in hip-hop is no new thing: Rappers like Mellow Man Ace, Kid Frost, Cypress Hill, and Arizona's own MC Magic have been in the mix since the late '80s and early '90s, paving the way for countless waves of Latino artists like Mav of Sol Camp lore, and Zig Zag of NB Ridaz.
"Me and Zig Zag have been doing a lot of work together representing for the Latino hip-hop community in Arizona," Mav says via email, "and now we just dropped a new single with 'Roll Up' and the new music video, 'In My Zone,' directed by Carlos Berber (who's done videos for Hopsin, DMX, and Glasses Malone)."
Along with the new material, Mav has continued championing the arts through his music website PhoenixHipHop.net, which has began hosting regular showcases around town to help support other local hip-hoppers. The latest installment goes down on Friday, September 21, at the Goat Head Saloon in Mesa.
"I think that this is gonna be the biggest one yet," Mav says.
The show will feature a slew of locals including Phunsiz, Double A, Train City, Gospel Lee, El Azteca, and Arizona Sons. They've also added a new wrinkle this time around, throwing in a "King of the Freestyle" challenge.
"This freestyle challenge is unique because it's not emcees battling head-to-head but we are searching for the best freestyle artist," Mav says. "We will be giving out different topics each round and the contestants will have 60 seconds to go in on that topic."
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.