Bodega Bamz: “Tanboys is a movement of Latinos who are proud and powerful individuals who want to put our culture back on the forefront of this music. It's a group of niggas tired of being called Spics, tired of being unappreciated. It’s like the Young Lords, Savage Nomads, Ñetas, and Latin Kings all mixed in one.
“The founding members are people that I’ve known since diapers: Me, Ohla, Willie HEX, and Ruben. It’s a worldwide thing, it’s not a rap group. Any Latino who’s a proud and powerful individual, any Latino who ain't a hater, any Latino who's about uplifting his culture is a Tanboy. You're born with that, it's in your DNA.
Any Latino who’s a proud and powerful individual, any Latino who ain't a hater, any Latino who's about uplifting his culture is a Tanboy.
“Ohla got the idea for our machete logo from watching Friday the 13th. Ohla loves Jason Voorhees, so we jacked the logo from that. The machete is just incorporated with Dominican lifestyle. I remember being in DR seeing Dominican niggas chasing down robbers with machetes. We incorporated a lot of crosses too. The Cross is your word, your balls, your God. That’s what you honor. The sword is the machete. It's like, 'You live by the Cross, you die by the sword.'
“It’s humbling when I have O.G. Latinos come up to me saying, 'I’m proud of what you’re doing. You’re representing my culture correctly,' because the fact that we haven’t had a large representation of Latinos in the music industry; it’s sad. We had Big Pun, we have Fat Joe, N.O.R.E, Peedi Crakk, but we don’t have an extensive amount.
“So it’s almost like a secret society. It’s like you know they’re there, but you don’t know where they’re at. I’m just happy I’m getting the opportunity to showcase my talent but also show my culture.
“There are kids that come up to me like, ‘I didn’t grow up on Pun—but you are Pun.’ That shit overwhelms me. It’s humbling. It’s almost like kids growing up not being able to see Michael Jordan but they’ve got LeBron, so I’m just happy I’m getting the opportunity to showcase that.”