We Don't Need No Water, Let The…

Hip Hop Hoodios
Agua Pa’ La Gente

I gotta be frank. I don’t like the Hip Hop Hoodios much. I mean, it’s not that they’re that horrendously awful or anything. They just don’t do it for me. I mean, conceptually, they’re pretty dope — Latino-Jewish hip hop (or as I termed it once, “kike spics playing nigger music”) itself seems like an impressive combination. And I got a kick out of their first EP, honestly, even though I thought the poking-fun-at-one’s-self through stereotypes was a bit hackneyed.
That being said, turning a truly critical lens on their music, I can admit their production is tight, and the music in-and-of-itself is enjoyable. I especially like the mashup sound of “Kike On The Mic,” for example, which combines klezmer, rock guitar & the JB’s infamous horn stab from “The Grunt” all over a jumpin’ hip hop beat. These things aren’t meant to work together, but somehow they pull it off, and that I wholly appreciate. Further, there are the Latin-flavored beats which appear throughout the album (which are of course the staple of the Hoodios sound), and that I find pleasurable in that it elicits in me a longing for my shitbox apartment above a dollar store in Brooklyn where Dominicans would sit out front blaring merengue from stereos more expensive than their cars. Ah, home.
Lyrically, on the other hand, it’s kind of torturous (except when they rhyme in Spanish and I have no idea what they’re saying — then it just sounds cool). To be quite frank, though, the shit’s pretty corny, and beyond that, these guys don’t exactly have voices like Biggie, Meth or MF Doom, which lend listenability to even the most trite lyrics. However, despite my admitted elitism in that sense (being myself one who’s known on occassion to rock the mic), I have to say that for young kids — particularly Latino-Jewish kids — their lyrics have the potential to be educational and entertaining, and more so, I think they can give a young Latino-Jew who may be questioning their heritage what to be proud of. Take for example the track “1492”, a lyrical romp through the Jewish explusion from Spain which ends in a refrain of pronouncement that the Christian god is “a brown Jew.” To a seasoned hip hop listener, it’s just plain awful. But for a young Jewish kid, it could be well… cool.
Interestingly, the album’s title track is a delicate confrontation of the subject of water privatization. I wonder if anyone told them that the Bronfmans (the world’s biggest Jewish philanthropists) are major shareholders in Vivendi, which privatizes public water supplies in Latin America. (There I go again, inserting my agenda into things…)
Anyway, here’s how you can cop the album for free, if by some chance I haven’t completely turned you off from it by this point which, honestly, hasn’t been my intention at all (and I actually kind of feel bad about this review because I like the guys in the Hoodios much more than I like their music): Click here and sign-up for an account with EMusic. When you join, you’ll get access to 50 free downloads, enabling you to download the entire new Hoodios album for free! Not just that, but you can score other great music, including tons of great jazz and reggae, and, hell, if you’re into it, they’ve got just about every Debbie Friedman album on there too.
If the legal MP3 thing isn’t your speed, you can always buy the CD in stores or from the Jazzheads site. And if you don’t like it, the Hoodios are even offering a money-back guarantee. Can’t beat that with a stick. Unless, of course it’s a piñata.
God that was an awful joke.

7 thoughts on “We Don't Need No Water, Let The…

  1. I thought this was a fairly solid sophmore effort. I’m sure when Dan finally lays down some tracks of his own, they will be so mind-blowing that even Jewschool will offer praise…

  2. I haven’t heard much of these guys, just a couple of songs and although i agree with the review posted here, it is still a very interesting project. i feel identified with some of what these guys are about, being a latino jew myself, but this overstereotiping is a bit much.
    I think more projects like this would be good for the south american jewish community (at least here in Venezuela). There is much need for something local to wich we can identify.

  3. Understand some of the comments on the lyrics, but it’s fun to jam and not take too serioiusly. Moving to Argentina next month, and it’ll be fun to share with the J’s down in Buenos Aires. 😎

  4. I gotta disagree with Mobius – I think the new album “Agua Pa’ La Gente” is light years ahead of Hoodios’ first disc ‘Raza Hoodia’. The musicianship is amazing – how many Jewish acts actuallly have members of Santana or Jaguares asking to perform with them? I also find their lyrics really solid.
    Hey, this is a free country, so we’re allowed to disagree with each other. But in my humble opinion, this is byfar one of the best Jewish hiphop albums ever. Unlike dreck like 50 Shekel or 2 Live Jews, Hoodios have a sense of humor without being corny or mocking rap music. And unlike Wu Tang or even Remedy, they don’t take themselves overly seriously either.
    Accept Hoodios for what they are: great live hip-hop musicians who represent for Spanish speaking Jewz!

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