How I Made It: King of The Bongo Makers and Ambar Lucid
In this episode, we're sharing two segments from our "How I Made It" series, which dives into the stories behind creative processes. Today, two music stories, separated by two generations. We hear how a mambo-obsessed Jewish kid from the Bronx ended up starting a Latin percussion empire, thanks to the trade embargo with Cuba. And, songwriter Ambar Lucid travels to Mexico to reconnect with her father for the first time since his deportation when she was a young girl.
Willie Perdomo Comes Home
In the early 1990s, Willie Perdomo was a teenager growing up in East Harlem. He saw and experienced firsthand a tumultuous moment in New York City, including the crack epidemic and the consequences of the war on drugs. In his newest book of poetry, "The Crazy Bunch," Perdomo wrangles with that history and the ghosts of that time. Latino USA's Antonia Cereijido takes a walk with Perdomo through his old neighborhood of Harlem to discuss his teenage years and how memories of that time inspired his newest work.
Portrait Of: Luna Lauren Vélez
For the past 25 years, Luna Lauren Vélez has been portraying powerful Latinas in front of the camera. From a young Nuyorican mother in the 1994 cult classic "I Like It Like That" to a Cuban police captain in the hit show "Dexter," the actress has been able to show the complexities of identity in her characters. That inspiration didn't come out of nowhere. Vélez is one of eight siblings in her large Puerto Rican family and is continually inspired by the strong women that raised her. Luna Lauren Vélez joins Maria Hinojosa for an intimate conversation about her childhood and the iconic characters she's played.
Portrait Of: Cypress Hill's Sen Dog
Senen Reyes, also known as Sen Dog, is one of the founding members of the pioneering rap group Cypress Hill. Their music differs from other West Coast hip-hop from the 80s and 90s—Cypress Hill was less concerned with gang life and focused more on marijuana activism. But Cypress Hill's legacy extends much further than making weed mainstream—they were the first all-Latino hip-hop group to have platinum and multi-platinum albums. Sen Dog joins us to talk about the legacy of his group Cypress Hill, and what his career looks like today.
Portrait Of: 80s Ball Subculture In FX's 'Pose'
When you think of the 1980's in New York City, you might think of grit and crime – but a vibrant, dazzling underground ball scene? Maybe not. The hit series "Pose" on FX is now telling the stories of that scene – a subculture of LGBTQ people of color creating a safe and joyous space during a time when they were not accepted. "Pose" is making history by featuring the largest cast of transgender actors ever on TV as well as the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ actors for a scripted series. Starring actresses MJ Rodriguez and Indya Moore talk with Latino USA about their roles in the series. This story was originally aired on July 17th, 2018.