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Roc Nation Latino Names Romeo Santos CEO

Multi-platinum superstars JAY Z and “The King of Bachata” Romeo Santos have combined forces. As of yesterday [Wednesday, June 8] Santos has officially been named the CEO of Roc Nation Latin.

Although Santos has dominated Latin charts for years, he’s actually from the Bronx, New York and is half Dominican and Puerto Rican. His music has featured the likes of Drake, Lil Wayne, Pitbull, Usher and Nicki Minaj.

Roc Nation Latin is supposed to help develop marketing, branding, sponsorship and international expansion for Latin artists. “Romeo has had tremendous success as a composer and producer and can spot true talent,” says JAY Z about the new ventures, which is reminiscent of his earlier foray into this arena, Roc La Familia. “This is a tremendous step for Roc Nation. We recognize there is a huge Latin market that is part of global culture. We’re proud and ready to enter into true partnership with an individual that intimately lives and knows that culture.”

Santos expressed his excitement to work with Jay, whom he said idolizes and looks forward to learning from—especially his business savvy. via The Source

Ms Krazie Beats Beyonce, Lil Wayne, Snoop and more

Urban Kings Artist Ms Krazie beat many top artists to claim her second song as retired on U92.7 in Palm Springs. Urban Kings submitted her song “Imma Rule The World” that was taken from her album “Smile Now Cry Never“. Listen to all the artists she beats! Smile Now Cry Never is available now at all major music stores, including Amazon, FYE, iTunes and Urban Kings!

History Of The Chola

Growing up in the 90s on the south side of Houston, I watched my older sister Lynda set the chola beauty standard. She lined her lips with berry-colored lipliner, plucked her eyebrows thin, and teased her permed hair with Aquanet hairspray, creating a stiff asymmetrical bang wave with a height capable of competing with all the homegirls in the neighborhood. She wore baggy polo shirts, gold jewelry, and had a gangbanger boyfriend named Angel with a bald fade and a lowrider car. She was a beautiful, highly accessorized chola who was respected in her world—most of all by me.

When I turned 13, Lynda began initiating me into the chola scene. By then, the look had evolved a bit—bang waves were no longer the style—but the core elements of the culture remained. Lynda and I drank Smirnoffs together, danced to Tejano music at the bar, and, at the end of the night, watched the boys fight in the parking lot. At 15, she bought me my first golden nameplate and I started dating one of Angel’s friends. She taught me the moral codes of what would become a sometimes violent teenage lifestyle—codes she had learned growing up in our rough neighborhood.

I got into fights at school with other girls who challenged or disrespected me and tried to hold my own in a community that did not look kindly on weakness. I eventually pushed myself toward academics, hiding away from the scene, and ended up going to college—an opportunity not afforded to many of my peers. However, I maintained my chola vibe throughout my time in high school as a way to survive in my environment. So today, when I see chola culture being sampled and recontextualized by fashion designers, pop singers, or celebrity starlets, I can’t help rolling my eyes.

At Givenchy’s most recent show in Paris, the line used gelled baby hairs and braided hair loops to evoke what designer Riccardo Tisci called a “chola Victorian” look. Pop stars aplenty—from Lana del Rey to Gwen Stefani, from Nicki Minaj to Fergie—have all taken elements of chola style and used them for their own devices. Stefani in particular is a veteran of appropriating “chola glamour” with her pencil-thin eyebrows, dark outlined lips, wife-beater crop tops, and the airbrushed lowriders in her videos. Nicki Minaj’s chola aesthetic in Young Money’s “Senile” video included gold hoop earrings, a red bandana around her forehead, and sagging Dickies atop a sporty Moschino underwear set. Her lips were heavy with liner as she rapped in front of a crew of tattooed and shirtless Mexican dudes.

I get it. Celebs reference the style to conjure a subversive and feminine fierceness. Aesthetically, cholas are really fucking cool. However, there is a dysfunctional idea at the heart of these instances of chola appropriation—that an elaborate outfit is all you need to enter into a culture. Anne Hathaway’s character in the movie Havoc is a great example. In the film, she plays a rich white girl from the suburbs of LA who tries to woo a gangster from the Eastside by rocking big gold hoop earrings and brand name urbanwear. In one of the movie’s more mortifying scenes, she sings and rolls on her wannabe thug boyfriend to a Tupac song. Then there are those celebs who take it to another level of offense with straight-up mockery, like when George Lopez gave Sandra Bullock a chola makeover by drawing her eyebrows on with a Sharpie.

As with most instances of cultural appropriation, when the chola look is worn by pop starlets, it gets stripped of context and becomes little more than a costume. Cholas are more than Latina sidekicks for Lana Del Rey or concepts for Fergie music video. The chola aesthetic was first forged by the marginalized Mexican American youths of Southern California. It embodies the remarkable strength and creative independence it takes to survive in a society where your social mobility has been thwarted by racism. The chola identity was conceived by a culture that dealt with gang warfare, violence, and poverty on top of conservative gender roles. The clothes these women wore were more than a fashion statement—they were signifiers of their struggle and hard-won identity.

To understand the significance of the chola subculture, you have to look back at the history of systematic oppression and discrimination that plagued Latino communities in the US. From 1929 to 1944, in a shameful incident known as Mexican Repatriation, the US government forcibly removed around 2 million people of Mexican heritage from the country—more than 1.2 million of them United States citizens. These people were snatched from their homes and workplaces and illegally deported. The government’s campaign against Mexican Americans continued throughout the century, as 300-plus acres of land known as the Chavez Ravine owned by generations of Mexican Americans were slowly stolen from 1951 to 1961 by the Los Angeles City Housing Authority. The residents were forced to sell their land and their houses were burned as practice sites for the LA fire department. (The land was later used to construct today’s Dodgers Stadium.)

It was during the time of Mexican Repatriation and WWII that pachucas, the forebears to the cholas, started to appear on the streets of Los Angeles. Pachucas were the female counterparts to pachucos, the Mexican American teenagers who wore zoot suits with high-waisted pegged pants and long suit coats. Pachucas also had their own nonconformist style of dress. They were known for teasing their hair into bouffant beehives and wearing heavy makeup, tight sweaters, and slacks or knee-length skirts that were immodestly short for the time. They were a rebel subculture that rejected assimilation into the white, hyper-patriotic spirit of WWII. Their rejection of mainstream beauty ideals and association with a non-white underclass challenged the idea of a unified nation, which the US was desperately trying to portray during wartime. The pachuco and pachuca style became a signifier for a racialized other and was therefore considered un-American.

“A chola is the epitome of beauty, style, and pride with a badass, take-no-shit, ‘look at me but don’t fuck with me’ attitude. She is a strong and proud woman who holds it down for her family and hood.” —Hellabreezy

In 1943, in the midst of World War II, citywide brawls known as the Zoot Suit Riots took place across Los Angeles and Southern California as white military servicemen began attacking pachucos, who were deemed unpatriotic due to the extra fabric needed to make their clothing, and deviant because of their racial difference. That year, the press called “cholitas” the “auxiliaries of the zoot suit gangs.” As depicted in Luis Valdez’s 1991 film Zoot Suit and Edward James Olmos’s 1992 film American Me, pachucas were also victims of physical and sexual violence during these clashes. Instead of repressing the pachuco culture, these attacks only strengthened the pachucos’ desire to resist assimilation into a jingoistic white America that treated brown minorities like second-class citizens. In addition to claiming a non-white womanhood, pachucas also defied gender norms by wearing slacks and sometimes even zoot suits.

“I thought pachucas were so cool. I saw these women with tight sweaters and pants hanging out. They took over the street and taught me that it wasn’t only a male space,” says Chicano studies scholar Dr. Rosa-Linda Fregoso, author of the 1995 article ” Pachucas, Cholas, and Homegirls in Cinema,” an analysis of how American Latina women are portrayed in film. To Fregoso, pachucas embody the rebellion against domesticity and challenge the idea of “appropriate female behavior.” She says that being a pachuca back in the day was a type of “feminismo popular” or folk feminism that didn’t come from an academic consciousness, but from a critique of patriarchal culture embedded within the Chicano community. Fregoso was also experiencing the culture in South Texas. By the 60s, pachuco style had spread all along the Southwestern United States.

“Pachucas [were] very radical women,” says Roseli Martinez, an art event organizer in LA, cofounder of Xicanas de Corazon book club, and poster girl for a modern day pachuca movement in California. “When you think about it, it’s the 1940s and you’re putting on pants, rolling with the guys. You’re wearing short skirts, going to parties, getting in fights, holding your man down. And you still don’t give up the responsibilities that fall on you for the simple fact of being a woman.”

The transition of a predominant pachuca style to a more gang-inspired chola look happened in the 60s and 70s. The chola, the female counterpart of the cholo, was a “working-class, young Mexican American female from the barrios of the southwest with a very distinct aesthetic, style, and attitude,” according to Hellabreezy, an Oakland-based model and modern-day chola, who spent a part of her youth in the projects of LA. “But to me, a chola is the epitome of beauty, style, and pride with a badass, take-no-shit, ‘look at me but don’t fuck with me’ attitude. She is a strong and proud woman who holds it down for her family and hood.”

The term cholo (the masculine form of chola) first entered the popular lexicon in the 60s and 70s in Southern California, although it has been documented in casta paintings as early as the 16th century. According to Latin American dictionaries, it simply means “mestizo,” or a person of mixed Amerindian or Andean indigenous and European lineages. However, on the streets in the 60s and 70s, the word became slang for the Mexican American or Chicano gang-affiliated men in Southern California who wore a combination of khaki pants, Pendleton plaid shirts over a white tee, and Locs sunglasses. At this time, gangs were prevalent in barrio life. They offered a sense of family, pride, identity, self-esteem, and belonging—things Chicanos did not receive from the dominant society. (Gang members were not all men; LA has had Latina girl gangs since at least the 1930s.)

The interests of the chola/cholo subculture were documented in the pages of lowrider publications like Teen Angels and Mi Vida Loca, which highlighted cholo art, fashion, tattoos, and moral codes. The chola code included things like loyalty to your homegirls, never fighting over boys, and, in some circles, not dating outside of your neighborhood.

“Most cholas either grew up with family members, their vatos, or even themselves having lowrider cars,” says Hellabreezy. “They attended car shows and cruised on the weekends as a favorite past time. Music was a big part of the culture too—like oldies and Chicano rap. Late nights were spent listening to oldies with homies or that special someone, calling your favorite radio station to make song dedications, drinking a 40oz, or just kicking back at the pad.”

“Being a chola is more than perfect eyeliner, gold accessories, or Dickies. It’s an identity forged out of the struggle to assert our culture and history, a struggle that continues.”

The chola aesthetic is the result of impoverished women making a lot out of the little things their families could afford. Many of the early cholos and cholas were the sons and daughters of farmworkers, a group of people exploited at high rates because of their lack of education and their vulnerability as undocumented people. In 1965, the United Farm Workers organization was fighting for a mere $1.25 hourly wage, so expensive brands were not a part of this style. Instead the girls wore cheap stuff like wife-beaters over baggy pants by brands like Dickies, a workwear label sold for cheap at local supermarkets. The style also evolved from sharing clothes with brothers and feminizing the cholo gangster look. Cholas wore their eyebrows thin, their eyeliner thick and black, and their hair teased or feathered, sometimes with tall bangs made stiff with hairspray. They also accessorized with gold jewelry: door-knocker earrings and nameplates or chain necklaces.

One of the most popular depictions of the subculture is a photo taken by Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide in East LA in 1986. The iconic picture features a crew of cholas posted up in front of graffiti renditions of the historical Mexican revolutionary figures Benito Juarez, Emiliano Zapata, and Pancho Villa. One woman holds a baby while the other three throw up gang signs with their heads tilted back and their chins up. Another iconic portrayal of teenage cholas is in the movie Mi Vida Loca—a film that focuses on relationships between Central LA high school girls named Sad Girl, Mousie, Whisper, and La Blue Eyes. (The movie got flack from real cholas for depicting a near-fatal riff between Sad Girl and Mousie that started over a boy—something cholas would never do.)

Though the subculture is sometimes spoken of in past tense, plenty of people still identify as cholas or have maintained chola elements in their style, which continue to signify the same sort of defiance the original pachucas did. Hellabreezy, whose real name is Mayra Ramirez, has worked with streetwear brands like Mama Clothing who she feels do the subculture justice. “I loved working with homegirls and creating images of subcultures that have been around for so long,” she says. “But I’m careful about the people I collaborate with. I don’t want to represent our culture in a wrong way. I only work with people who know the culture and genuinely appreciate it.” Although Mama Clothing was a pioneer, embracing the chola look as far back as the late 90s, there are now several female clothing lines owned by Latinas using the chola aesthetic. Brands like BellaDoña and Bandida Clothing all take inspiration from a pachuca and/or chola look. But unlike Givenchy, they’re not exoticizing the subculture in a way that disconnects it from it’s anti-establishment origins and makes it more palpable to bourgeois white folks, they’re articulating a pride in their own culture.

Chola culture is also being preserved in the art world. At the end of 2014, the Espacio 1839 gallery in LA hosted an art show called Style as Resistance, which posited contemporary pachuco/a style as political. Curator J. C. De Luna created the event, which featured work honoring Chicano culture as a way to combat the ill effects of gentrification in the neighborhood of Boyle Heights by celebrating culture as a counteractive tactic. Men showed up dressed in wing-tipped shoes, elaborate tailored zoot suits, and wide-brimmed hats, while many women arrived wearing high-waisted slacks and the distinct teased pachuca hairstyle. There were discussions about the race riots of the 1940s and nostalgic swing jazz oldies like “Pachuco Boogie” were part of the soundtrack. A handful of visual artists showed their work including photographer Art Meza, who recently published Lowriting, a compilation of photos and literature immortalizing low riders, their owners, and community.

Events such as Style as Resistance actively honor the Chicano history of pachucos and pachucas in light of gentrification and the loss of Chicano cultural hubs in cities like Los Angeles and the Mission District of San Francisco. This is especially important because Chicano history is in danger of being pushed to the margins of the mainstream—we’ve recently seen the banning of Mexican American and general ethnic studies in Arizona and the attempted erasure of Cesar Chavez from textbooks. This whitewashing of Mexican American history makes the disassociation of the chola aesthetic from its political roots seem particularly malignant. Being a chola is more than perfect eyeliner, gold accessories, or Dickies. It’s an identity forged out of struggle to assert culture and history, a struggle that continues—just look at the racist “show me your papers” laws popping up in states all over the country, from Arizona to Indiana, and racist Mexican-themed fraternity parties in which frat boys dress not only in ponchos and sombreros but as construction workers and border patrol agents.

“As cholas, we can’t just brush the Aquanet off our hair, take our hoops off, and go back to normal suburban life. This is our reality. We live this everyday.” —Hellabreezy

I don’t want to fight over who gets to use gelled baby hairs because nothing will stop high fashion from harvesting trends from hood kids—everyone knows they are the true creative class. But that doesn’t mean I won’t stop rolling my eyes whenever I see white Forever 21 models wearing “Compton” sweatshirts and beanies.

“Back in the day, we were mocked for looking different. Now, so many young girls want to emulate the look and have no idea of the cultural background or street politics associated with it,” says Hellabreezy. “It’s easy for young privileged girls to want to have the look, but when they are done dressing up in their ‘chola costume,’ they don’t have to go back home to the hood and deal with discrimination, violence, and poverty… We can’t just brush the Aquanet off our hair, take our hoops off, and go back to normal suburban life like they can because this is our reality. We live this every day.”

Written by Barbara Calderon-Douglass for Vice.com

All photos by Graciela Iturbide 

Ms Krazie Wins The 7 oClock Knockout!

Today is a Flashback Friday, and I want to tell you about a little story of when UKMG Artist Ms Krazie was competing on the Palm Springs Radio Station U92.7. It was for a segment called “The 7 o’Clock Knockout”, that put two songs head to head in a battle and let the fans pick which song was better. I gave the song “Imma Rule The World” that was taken from Ms Krazie’s album “Smile Now Cry Never“. I personally recorded and edited the audio that was recorded every day for the show, and she battled huge names. Im talking about artists like Beyonce, Pitbull, Enrique Iglasias, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Timbaland and more. This was the second time she competed in the 7 oClock Knockout, and the second time it was retired, meaning no one beat her in THREE WEEKS! She is the first artist to ever do that! Below I put the album cover of Smile Now Cry Never below, so if you see it in stores, you will know that it won the 7 oClock Knockout!

Smile Now Cry Never CD

Echosworld Filming Menace And Game Music Video

We have some dope news today, we have just found out that our friend and go to director, Jeff – Echo – Reyes and Echosworld Films has just reached an agreement with Compton Menace to film a brand new music video called “Let A Bitch Know” featuring Menace’s labelmate The Game.

Jeff is one of the fastest rising latino Music Video Directors, shooting videos for our very own Ms Krazie, Chino Grande, Midget Loco’s Music Videos, as well as Baby Jokes, Lil G, Waka Flaka, Havoc from Mobb Deep, DJ Paul from Three 6 Mafia, and still adding names.

Compton Menace is from Black Wallstreet, which is Game’s crew and label. Menace has been making much noise around the industry, working with artists like Lil Wayne, The Game, Wiz Khalifa, Birdman, Cassidy, Young Buck,  Trae Tha Truth, Mistah Fab, Ace Hood and more. He also has been in the news for his fights, fighting with 40 Glocc and shutting down YG’s performance at a Dub Show Concert.

Shout out To Echosworld Films, Compton Menace, The Game and Black Wallstreet. Here are a few videos that Compton Menace has done, and picture the idea of Jeff filming his next video, with The Game! It is still in the pre production stage, but it is coming soon and is looking like another dope production by Jeff Reyes and Echosworld Films, and another dope song by Compton Menace and Game.

Compton Menace – Lil Wayne – Mitchy Slick – Blood Brothers

Compton Menace – Wiz Khalifa – Ain’t Changin Me – Behind The Scenes

Kat Stacks Free From Jail

 

Urban Kings got  big news in the form of Youtube Friday. Kat Stacks has officially been released from jail. She was originally charged with a concealed gun charge and disorderly conduct. She was then sentenced her time, plus to be deported after she finished her sentence. She applied for an appeal, stating that she was a victim of sex trafficking and she created the Kat Stacks character to survive. She was granted her appeal and to remain in the United States.

Kat Stacks is known for having sex with rappers, then letting the world know about it. She would also put their phone numbers in her vlogs, and even recorded some vlogs while the rappers were sleeping in bed. Her more famous rappers she has had sex with is Nelly, Soulja Boy, XO, Even saying she had sex with all the Young Money Crew, Chopper City, Scoe (Roscoe’s little brother), and more.

 

Rapper Short Dawg Caught In Armed Robbery

We got this sent into our email about Lil Wayne’s Young Money Ent Artist “Short Dawg”, sticking up a shop that looks like a donut shop or a coffee shop. The entire crime was caught on closed circuit security cameras that have different angle views of the robbery. Short Dawg was signed to Young Money in 2009, and with his recent mixtapes making a bigger buzz for him, this could not have happened at a worse time. From Mixtapes “March Madness”, the “Adventures of Drankenstein” collection and “Southern Flame Spitta 4″, Short Dawg has been working overtime on all projects while creating his first solo release through Young Money Ent, called “Fresh”. Short Dawg is currently awaiting trial and no news coverage has been released about this incident.

Short Dawg recently filmed a music video with Echosworld Films, but now due to Short Dawg currently awaiting trial, the music video release date has now been delayed with no future release date.

Young Money Ent is home to hip hop artists Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Tyga, Birdman among other upcoming hip hop artists.

Rapper Short Dawg Caught In Armed Robbery

An Urban Kings Tv Exclusive
We have acquired police footage evidence of Young Money Rapper, Short Dawg holding up what looks to be a coffee shop of some sort. The entire 2.11 was caught by the store’s Closed Circuit Cameras but no news coverage has been released about this incident. Our source tells us he was arrested and is currently awaiting trail. Young Money Ent is home to top notch hip hop artists, such as Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Tyga, and Birdman.

Nu Jerzey Devil’s CD Release Party Tonight

Tonight its going down at the Supper Club in Hollywood. The CD Release Party for Nu Jerzey Devil’s album “From The Bottom To The Top”. Nu Jerzey Devil (From The Game’s BlackWall Street), has made a name for himself as a Mixtape DJ (Ghost Unit, YOUKNOWWHATITIS series, The BlackWall Street Journal, Stop Snitchin Stop Lyin, The Devils Advocate, and more). Nu Jerzey also established himself as a producer, working with artists like The Game, Fat Joe, Amerie, and more, and has collaborated with artists like Lil Wayne, Ne-Yo, The Game, Fat Joe among other high profile hip hop artists. We recently had Nu Jerzey Devil here at the UKMG offices, discussing the new “From The Bottom To The Top” album and UKMG even manufactured the album and printed the album. Its a project that came out dope, so now its time to go out and party tonight, with Nu Jerzey Devil and UKMG!!

Nu Jerzey Devil Devil – From The Bottom To The Top – VLOG 3

Here is a drop with Nu Jerzey Devil & Lil Wayne working on “Different Girls”

Lil Wayne Shouts out DMX

An Urban Kings Tv Exclusive

 

Lil Wayne at LIV nightclub in Las Vegas, New Years Day and introduces DMX and DMX performs. Shout out to DJ IRIE.