1) Ana Tijoux – “1977”: I love this girl, no doubt, and I love her music. But this video blew my mind! I wouldn’t be shy to state that this is the best hip-hop video by a Latin American artist that I’ve seen so far.
2) Systema Solar – “Bienvenidos”: I wanna move to northern Colombia. Cumbia made me develop a fetish for this particular part of the world, this video confirmed it. Part of this song was featured in my Linyerismo Episode II mixtape, back when most people outside Colombia haven’t yet heard of this group. The video came out a lot later and secured them a position on the international neo-cumbia map as the new Bomba Estéreo (sans the hot girl). Now there’re rumors of Nacional Records signing them...
3) Mood Fu & Niña Dioz – “Boom Bap”: This was the first time ever I posted a video on The Hard Data just by itself, with no story. Somebody sent me the link on Facebook, I watched it and I was like wow, I have to share this shit with everybody right now. At that moment I only knew Niña Dioz for references of Toy Selectah who mentioned her as some of the best new-school hip-hop in Mexico and I didn’t know anything about Mood Fu, a group I became a huge fan since and I’m eagerly expecting their debut album.
4) DJ Raff - “Soulstreets”: The best Latin American hip-hop DJ. Period. Raff never ceases to amaze me with his creativity, a true beat master. ‘Nuff said.
5) Brownout – “Slinky”: People usually ask me if I wear a Mexican wrestler mask while I DJ because I'm a fan of Lucha Libre and honestly, I've never, not even once, watched a Lucha Libre match on TV. But I LOVE those 70's Mexploitation movies. Oh yeah... that's pure kitsch gold.
6) Alika & Nueva Alianza – “Dem Got No Love”: I already posted this video here before. I know Alika personally since 1996 and she’s mad cool. Honestly I was a bit disappointed when she moved away from her early rap-rock-fusion experiments with Actitud María Marta to become a rastaffarian reggae toaster a la Fidel Nadal, but when she started fucking around with cumbia beats, I fell in love with her all over again. This video has it all, cumbia accordeon, villa culture, graff, b-girls and Chacarita (my favorite soccer team).
7) Emicida – “Triunfo”: São Paulo is one of my favorite cities in the world and it’s the hip-hop capital of Brazil. Nowadays everybody knows about Rio De Janeiro’s Baile Funk phenomenon because British DJ’s made it blow up worldwide, but the real shit when it comes down to conscious hip-hop with tight beats and dope verbal skills is always in São Paulo.
8) El B / Los Aldeanos – “La Naranja Se Picó”: Cuban MC’s are the best lyricists in political rap in the Spanish Language. Los Aldeanos are the best from the best. There aren't too many rap videos produced in Cuba (for obvious reasons) so this one is sort of a rarity.
9) Frescolate & Arias - “Evolución Constante”: This is 100% b-boy purist shit. It’s all about skills show off and clever word play with zero crossover appeal. I grew out of that formula a long time ago, but back in the nineties, I would’ve been totally down for a track like this. I know Frescolate since 1997 when he was one of the most remarkable b-boys in Buenos Aires underground scene (we both have cameos on the same rap video from back then), not satisfied with his dancing rep, he decided to pick up the mic in the new millennium and soon became the best freestyler, not only of Argentina, but of the whole continent. This is his first pro video and when it came out early this year it made me really happy to see that he has gone so far.
10) Latin Bitman & Francisca Valenzuela – “Help Me”: More Chilean DJ’s making it to the top-11. This one wasn’t my favorite track from Bitman’s great new album but I guess they chose it as the first single because of the singing girl who, I assume, is well known in Chile, although I’ve never heard of her. Anyway, the beat is great and it is ranking ten and not higher only because she sings in English and I’d rather she have done it in Spanish instead.
11) Shakira – “Loba”: Oh well, the 11th position is always reserved for the guilty pleasure of the year, as a sort of bonus track. In this case the decision was obvious. Do I need to enumerate the reasons? Yeah, you got it, it’s not about the song... at all.