Album: Hispanic Causing Panic
Label: Virgin
Producer: Baker Boyz, Frost, Julio G, Will Roc, Tony G., Ern-Dog, Fred Wreck, Pablito

“La Raza” has stood the test of time. In 1990 the idea of a Latino rapper making a song in Spanglish that basically lists every East L.A. cliché was suspect at best. “La Raza” was popular, but at the time it felt like it was regarded as a novelty. In retrospect, since television and movies showed us just how cynical Latino stereotypes can get, it's easier to recognize the authentic sense of pride running through Kid Frost's first big hit.

There's nothing corny about it. It's sharp and lean, and it incorporates El Chicano's “Viva Tirado”-the unofficial East L.A. national anthem-shrewdly and seamlessly while honoring the trancelike groove of the original. At the time, critics vainly reached for a new marketing term: “Spanglish rap,” “Hispanic rap,” etc. In reality, the song is pure soul music, delivered with a maximum of style and self-respect.