from Hispanic Causing Panic (1990, Virgin)
La Raza II
from Smile Now, Die Later (1995, Relativity)
La Raza (96 Remix)
from Relativity Urban Assault (1996, Relativity)
Kid Frost cut some of the first latin hiphop records in history. Raised in the barrios in East LA, he also spent a lil’ bit of time in military camps in Guam and Germany. Kid Frost began his rapping career in 1982 at the age of 18. He also honed his talent as a BBoy, joining the infamous Uncle Jamm’s Army Crew. He took great influence from his mentor in rhyme, Ice-T, and the name Kid Frost is a dedication to the hardest repping light skinned rapper, whom he frequently sparred and cyphered bars with during the formation of the West Coast sound. Around this time he dropped a number of 12-inch releases that flew under the radar, as far as a widespread audience is concerned. “Rough Cut” ft/ Yella & “Terminator” are notable mentions. He took a leave of absence and returned in the late 80s back by producer Tony G.
It was from a Tony G blessing that Kid Frost dropped his largest selling and most respected single “La Raza”. This being the focus of this post, The smooth mellow flowing track became an anthem for the Chicano persuasion of west coast America. Frost’s debut album “Hispanic Causing Pain” followed the same year, released by major record label, Virgin. After the smoke had cleared from “La Raza”, Kid Frost formed a collective of other bilingual rappers named The Latin Alliance. It was followed by a second Kid Frost album “East Side Story”, which contained the classic “No Sunshine”. Unfortunately, This release was seen as a corporate flop and after lackluster sales, Virgin dropped him. Kid Frost returned in ’95 time with the shortened name ‘Frost’ and signed with Eazy E’s label Ruthless shortly before that Eazy fatality.
The 1995 release, “Smile Now, Die Later” practically re-invented Frost as a hardcore rhymer, utilizing hispanic influenced G-Funk beats. It was sadly his only album to appear in the top 40 chart. The remaining releases were a little below average. 1997 saw “When HELL.A Freezes Over” which brought about the parting of ways between Ruthless and Frost. Between 1998-2000, He released two albums, “That Was Then, This Is Now” Volumes 1-2 on the minor record label Celeb. In 2002, Frost released “Still Up In The S+” on Hit-A-Lick and was later distributed by Koch. That same year he dropped the mixtape of Latino rappers, “Raza Radio” on 40 Ounce Records. Read the post-script…
La Raza. I can remember when I bought the tape for $4 at the Coliseum Swap Meet in Oakland. Frost spoke the truth about Latinos/Chicanos, the day to day struggle and what you have to go thru to survive in this concrete jungle. The title itself, La Raza, motivated alot of latinos and all races in general, by its captivating style and grace. To me, It made me proud to be a latino… to stand up for myself. At the same time, His music inadvertedly promoted the gang lifestyle. I look back now 10-15 years back and see how his music could have had a negative impact on some but at the same time, you had to learn things the hard way. I can remember being 12-13 trying to be a gang banger… trying to get jumped into A St Locos (XIV Hayward). You live and you learn.
As Frost moved on to later recordings, His style grew even more mature. He never was trying to be negative on a record but had to give you a dose of reality, like many artists, then and now, to make people think and realize. Matt and I spoke about this record for a minute before we made this post. It’s a trip that 15 years ago, I was experiencing this sound as a youth and 15 years later, A cat from the UK showed some interest. That’s the power of music. Enjoy the 3 versions of La Raza and check for the bonus from Kid Frost, circa mid-80’s…
Frost back in the day…