Monday, April 7, 2008

#9 Goya

When it comes to brand loyalty, Latinos are blood in and blood out. To
hell with Snuggle or Downy, Suavitel is official fabric softeners-
spic approved. Feminine wash? Summer's Eve?!? No no mija use Lemisol.
And when it comes to groceries leave all that other crap on the shelf
because it's all about Goya baby.

Most supermarkets separate their aisles by product types so in aisle 1
the sign will read "Cereal, Syrup, Oatmeal, Pancake Mix." Aisle 2:
"Bread, Cookies, Crackers and Juice." Aisle 3 simple reads: "GOYA."
That fact that Goya is the only brand name with their own Aisle in
every supermarket across America is a true testament to the power of
the Latino dollar. You don't see a "Kellogg's" aisle or a "Nabisco"
aisle, that's cause gringos ain't ride or die like that.

From rice and beans to cooking oil and garlic powder, Goya has
cupboards on lock. If Goya made a soap, Latinos would lather up and
proudly walk around smelling like salchichas. And with tasty soda
flavors like Coconut, Tamarind and Cola Champagne, 50 Cent may have
been better off doing his VitaminWater deal with Goya instead of

The reason why we go so hard in the Goya aisle is simple, cause our
mothers used it. And god forbid she sent you to el "super" with a list
and you came home with that "other" can of Gandules, mijo please. Goya
O Boya!

Friday, April 4, 2008

#8 Marriage

More so than any other race Latinos love getting married. It’s a tradition that starts from young, as many Latin kids get married before they even graduate from high school. And if at first we don't succeed we try, try again.

La Familia is one of the most important aspects of Latin culture. We have a gang of brothers, sisters, cousins, tios and titis. How else can we become the world's most dominate culture if not through marriage? (“My seeds rool with his seeds, marry his seeds; that’s how we keep Latino money in the family”). As a Latin male the second worst thing you could be is single (I'd tell you the first, but I don't want to offend our homosexual brothers and sisters- don't blame me blame machismo). The fact of the matter is without a wife, Latino males will reek of dirty laundry and die of starvation because we simply do not cook or wash clothes.

You still don't believe that Latinos are addicted to marriage, you need proof? Well let's use our prototypical Latin couple Jennifer Lopez and Mr. Jennifer Lopez a.k.a. Marc Anthony. J.Lo has collected more rings that Michael Jordan and the ink was barely dry on Mr. El Cantante's divorce papers before he hit city hall with La Reina de Culos. Its basic survival instinct, if you're Latino and your single than you’re dead.

Now don’t get it twisted just because we’re addicted to marriage doesn’t mean that we do it for love or anything like, because we are some of the world’s biggest cheaters as well. What does love have to do with it?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

#7 Culos

When it comes to ass we gotta give it up to our Black sisters, ya'll hold the crown there is no doubt about that. All praises due, bow down. But when it was time to take nalgas to the mainstream a.k.a. the WP that's all us and ya’ll can’t deny it.

Before Ms. Jennifer Lopez arrived on the scene mainstream America's reaction to Bootyliscious babes was much like a Sir Mix-A-Lot video. "Oh my god Becky look at her butt." But thanks to La Lopez white women went from utter disgust to hitting up Dr. 90210 demanding the bubbliest of the bubbles.

Now ever since J.Lo shook her big 'ol booty into America's collective sex drive, women of all shades are being applauded for their backsides. Beyonce, Serena and even the white girl's poster child for booty Jessica Biel have benefited from Jenny from the Block's trailblazing butt.

Still it's something about the Latina ass that makes it just a ‘lil more special. From birth Latinas are given a steady diet of rice and beans twice a day everyday and a weekly dose of Morir Sonandos. By the time she reaches 18 she should have the perfect Latin ass and she didn't have to pay $5 gs per cheek for it. But arroz con habichuelas don’t do it alone and before Kanye West gave the world his work-out plan the hip-shaking rhythms of Salsa and Merengue is the icing on the cake giving the culo that round yet firm shape.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

#6 Religion

When it comes to religion, Latinos are D4L. Ever devoted Catholics, Latinos are the only people in the world to goes as far as to name their children after the son of God (Everyone Loves Jesus- we should have a sit-com). We get rosaries and scriptures tattooed on our arms, chest and necks. "Down with the King" is more than just a rap song when it comes to Latinos.

"Vaya Con Dios" is what our grandmothers say before we leave on our daily journeys. When we return home we ask for blessings ("Bendicion") and our elders are so in touch with G-O-D that they actually feel empowered enough by the lord to bestow those blessings upon us ("Bendiga").

We call out to God so much even non-Latinos can decipher our native call to the big guy upstairs. If we hit the lotto we're like, "Ay Dios Mio," but it works if we burn a pot of rice too. Right before we beat our kids we call out "Dios Mio" too, as we're calling on God to give us that extra strength when dishing out whippings. But then during the beating the kids are calling out "Ay Dios Mio" as well. It's sorta like how Italians use the word "Forgeddaboutit" - remember Donnie Brasco? It's all-encompassing.

Have you ever passed a church with a Latino who didn’t do the sign of the cross? If your answer is yes, then they weren’t real Latinos. Check the cellar in any Latin home and you’ll be sure to find a bottle of holy water stashed right next to the excess toilet paper and excess bottles of Lemisol.

Maybe the most telling detail of Latinos' devotion to Christ is how we decorate our lawns. You don't live in a real Latino household unless you have a shrine of the Virgin Mary by your front door. And while most people set-up their nativity scenes (complete with the manger and baby Cristo) for Christmas and then take it down when the holidays are over, Latinos keep that bad boy up all year 'round. See our love for the Lord is deep, word to Abuela's Santo.

Monday, March 31, 2008

#5 George Lopez

Don’t let his former-ABC sitcom fool you; George Lopez is funny as hell. Not to be confused with the unfunny Carlos Mencia (the only other “working” Latino comic”), Lopez has actual talent.

After being abandoned by his mother at the age of 10, the L.A. native turned his pain into laughter. In 2004 his comedy album Team Leader was nominated for a Grammy and his long running show (2002-2007) George Lopez ran on ABC and can now be seen in syndication on Nickelodeon’s Nick-at-Nite. Actually for some strange reason the show is actually funnier in syndication-go figure. The George Lopez show became the second longest running sit-com starring Latinos coming after I Love Lucy. Lopez’s show also succeeded in turning the spotlight on actress Constance Marie, one of the hottest Latinas on TV. With his star power, Lopez performed his greatest feat when he opened the door for Freddie Prinze Jr., helping to green-light Prinze’s poor excuse of a sit-com Freddie. In 2005 Time magazine named Lopez as one of their “25 Most Influential Hispanics in America” and believe us, getting young FPJ his own show takes a ton of influence.

But don’t be fooled, Lopez is no media darling; actually the Mexican comedian isn’t afraid of pissing off the mainstream. In 2007, Lopez went on record calling late-night talk show host Jay Leno “The biggest two-faced dude in TV.” But Jorge didn’t stop there; rumors have it that Lopez roughed up fellow comedian Carlos Mencia for stealing his material. And with his jokes on immigration, Latino culture and America’s screwed up politics George Lopez keeps it realer than most.

In his 2007 HBO special America’s Mexican Lopez criticized not only President George Bush for his immigration platform, but California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s as well for his anti-Latino, English only policy, “Governor Schwarzenegger is for English only. Ok that’s good, but the problem there is motherfucker you don’t speak English… I’ve had uncles who are drunk that I could understand better than Arnold Schwarzenegger,” joked Lopez.

Not since Cheech Marin has Latinos a funnier comedian. Long live El Rey de Comedy!

#4 Flags

Latinos love flags. I remember in high school the bathrooms were bombed with "PR #1," "DR #1," or "Mexico #3" (just kidding amigos). A lot of gringos hated on it saying, "Yo, US #1 and if you don't like it go home." SAY WHAT????? Dudes would also hate on the bandannas and flags, but if they didn't lump us all together, there wouldn't be a problem now would there?

Flags get repped hard cause Latinos don't like being labeled together as one rice and beans eating group from Mexico. Solidarity is dope, but people like gettin' the home town some burn and you gotta pay attention to the distinguishing characteristics. What better way to show your colors than flags, holographic cd's, and frog stickers on your rear window? But, once one Latino does it, so does the rest of the neighborhood. Constantly finding creative placements for flag art that other people don't have is one of the greatest Latino Pastimes.

Whether you're playing soccer, handball, or just chillin on a lawn chair in Harlem drinking Coco Rico, your flag game's gotta be on point. Check out some of the recent innovations:

#3 Freestyle Music

Want to get the party started?!? Well if there are any Latinos in the house Mr. DJ better have some Freestyle in those crates. No, not the off-the-head style of Rap made famous by hip-hop stars like Supernatural and Mos Def, we’re talking about FREESTYLE MUSIC!

During the late ‘80s an emerging sound began to develop out of NYC and Miami and after it impacted, Latinos were never the same. Marked by its pounding 808s, synthetic keys and melodic vocals; often telling tales of tragic love, Freestyle music became the Latino answer to hip-hop. While genres like Salsa and Merengue became synonymous with an older generation due to their roots in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, Freestyle became something that American-born Latinos could call their own. Stars like TKA (“Maria”), George Lamond (“No Matter What”) and Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam (“Head to Toe”) took the once underground sound to the mainstream proving that the genre can have life in the clubs and on the pop charts.

Freestyle music was derived from the electro-Euro pop of acts like Kraftwerk. Usually clocking in at well over 100 beats per minute, the genre took dance music to the next level and made New York clubs like the Funhouse, the Roxy and Broadway 96 world famous. Shannon’s “Let the Music Play” was one of Freestyle’s earliest and biggest hits, soon to be followed by tracks like Freeez’s “I.O.U.” and Safire’s “Let Me Be the One.” Eventually acts like Brenda K. Starr (“I Still Believe”), The Cover Girls (“Show Me”) and Stevie B. (“Spring Love”) began to define the genre and take it to new heights. With all of its commercial appeal, Freestyle crossed over into the world of pop music and eventually began to die in the face of early 90s acts like Paula Abdul and Milli Vanilli.

Still to this day Freestyle remains popular amongst 80s babies and has even seen a mini-resurrection of sorts amongst artists like Pitbull, Nina Sky and Lumidee. Almost 25 years after its inception it is clear that Latinos can not withstand the infectious rhythms of this unique brand of electro-pop music.