The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place -lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good- so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week's Rapper: CANDYMAN
This Week's Subject(s): The non-Hispanic lineup at The Box's forthcoming Los Magnificos Car Show, scheduled for December 5 at Reliant Center.
Note: Rocks Off contacted The Box for a comment on this situation, and program director Terri Thomas sent back the following email: ""Hello! We have no comment. Have a great day!"
Ask A Rapper: Okay, so let's start from the beginning. What is your initial concern with The Box?
I'm tired of them running over us [Hispanic rappers], trying to take advantage of us. I get together with a lot of Hispanic artists and we were talking and it comes up like, "Man, have any of you all been called for the [Los Magnificos] car show?" No, no, no. I'm just in an outrage with them. It's sad. I'm not trying to put it that way, but it's like they're being racial.
If a black guy goes up there, he has a 20 percent better of getting played than I do. They're quick to take our money for concerts and commercials and promotions, but they can't even spin us one time a day? One time?
I'm listening to the commercial for the car show and they're naming the artists performing and they're naming 20 people and it's like none of them are Hispanic. There's not one single Hispanic local artist on the playbill. It's not right.
AAR: So you talked to the people from Los Magnificos about this as well?
CM: Yeah, I talked to them and they said The Box was in charge. I talked to J-Mac and he was like, "Man, I don't want to talk about that." I talked to Chile and G-Man. And it's cool, I get it, they're scared to lose their jobs
We saw what they did before. If they speak up on it, they could be the next Trae. They don't want that. Nobody does. But somebody has to speak up on this. Them not supporting us when we support them, it's gone on for too long.
AAR: You're not a new guy on the scene. Tell everyone a bit about your credentials.
CM: I've been rapping for 11 years. I've had songs with Slim Thug, ESG, Keke was on my first album. I was in the Top 5 on 104.9 when they were here. It's not like they don't know me or haven't heard of me. It's not about me and it's not about race, it's about being right. That's all.
We show love. A lot of Hispanics, that's in our blood. Why can't we get the same? We don't need the entire pie, we just want one of the strawberrys on the pie. There's like 200 of them in there. We just want one.
AAR: Strawberry pie? That's a weird choice. Do you eat a lot of strawberry pie?
CM: Actually, I did when I was in prison. I ate them there. I just got out of prison. I served five years. I served five years in prison and when I came out and I was like, "Damn, they still don't have Hispanics on the radio." People are saying I'm trying to be this Pancho Villa missionary. It's not that. I mean, we'll start a rebellion, but only if it's the right cause. The Hispanic community is behind us on this.
AAR: Okay, so there's one obvious question that needs to be asked: You touched on this tangentially, but are you at all concerned you becoming the next Trae? That doesn't seem like it'd be out of the realm of possibility if you begin making enough noise about this.
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CM: No, no, no. I'm going to speak my mind. People are going to feel me like they feel Trae. I want to be the Mexican heart ambassador. I just want people to look at this, really look at this. Because I don't think that anyone has noticed that we as artists are being excluded. I can guarantee the Hispanic population will be out there supporting The Box and the car show - we invented car shows, you know what I'm saying. It's only right that they support us.
AAR: What if they say, "Fine, we concede, we'll book one or two Hispanic acts, but you, Candy Man, will never ever be played on The Box or booked at one of our shows." Are you okay with that? Would that be an acceptable end?
That's fine, because if that were to happen I know that in my heart I made that happen. It's been the same since I left [for prison] in 2004, it'll be the same after if no one says anything. I want to be the one to say something.
I think it's like they credit what South Park Mexican did on all of us. We're not like that. We have positive things to say and do. I just want to be acknowledged and not ran over. If nobody stands up for this, it's not going to stop.