La Cotorra Criolla
The name of this song literally translates as The Creole Parrot, but the sentiment is really The Creole Rapper. Rapper’s Delight is widely acknowledged to be the pioneering rap record, but at the time, the genre hadn’t been named. Rap was still a slang word for talk or conversation, so when Rapper’s Delight was released in Venezuela, it was called La Cotorra (The Parrot), which at the time was local slang for a verbose speaker. While immensely popular, no one could understand what the hell The Sugarhill Gang was talking about, because the record was in English. Enter Venezuelan poet and humorist Perucho Conde.
In 1980, Conde took the beat from Rapper’s Delight (which was originally sampled from Chic‘s Good Times), added some Latin flavor and a sharp political critique and the result became his signature work. Not only is this the first Spanish rap song, but it’s also considered one of the first rap records in the world to offer up any sort of social commentary; the lyrics describe the living conditions of the working poor and offer criticism of the policies of then Venezuelan President Luis Herrera Campins. Whether you understand what he’s saying or not, one thing is definitely clear: Perucho Conde has some serious ass flow.