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.
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"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."