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Jae-P

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Like David Rolas and Akwid, Mexican-American rapper Jae-P is among the bilingual Latino MCs who made a name for himself on the West Coast rap scene in the early 2000s. The Los Angeles resident, who has no problem rapping in either English or Spanish and is fluent in both languages, has often been cited as part of a trend known as urban regional; that term, which is a blend of urban contemporary and regional Mexican, refers to Mexican-American rappers and singers who have been influenced by Latin music (especially regional Mexican) as well as R&B, hip-hop, and perhaps dance music. The term has been applied to Mexican-American artists ranging from Rolas and Akwid to neo-banda singer Yolanda Pérez, and it has been applied just as often to Jae-P — whose work is the essence of multiculturalism. Jae-P gets a lot of inspiration from African-American rappers, including Chuck D & Public Enemy, KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions and West Coast innovator Ice-T (minus the more thuggish, controversial, and gangsta-minded aspects of Ice-T’s work; unlike Ice-T, though, Jae-P is not part of gangsta rap). But Jae-P has also been influenced by Los Angeles’ Kid Rock (who was the first important Mexican-American rapper on the West Coast) and has successfully incorporated Latin styles such as norteño/Tex-Mex, flamenco and cumbia (which originated in Colombia but has been extremely popular among Mexican listeners). Like Public Enemy, BDP/KRS-One and Ice-T, Jae-P can be quite sociopolitical; Latino pride has been a major theme of his recordings, and he hasn’t hesitated to rap about the social and economic problems facing inner-city neighborhoods.

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