Oye Mi Gente!

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Most of you have undoubtedly heard about Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez’s new film with director Leon Ichaso (Pinero) about the life of Hector LavoeEl Cantante‘. While I’m not really into anything that the 2 singer/actors have done so far, I think they’ve finally found their calling in this one. You can’t go wrong with a story about a kid moving from little Ponce, Puerto Rico to New York and becoming the one of the greatest Puerto Rican singers of all time. Willie Colon, Yankee Stadium with the Fania All-Stars in front of 50,000 fans…Throw in a huge drug habit (if you look closely you can actually see cocaine residue on his pinky ring), and many more tragedies unfortunately later in his life (I won’t ruin the movie for you), and you’ve got an incredible story.

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The best thing about all of this, is that all of his incredible music is now re-surfacing everywhere. Fania has released an incredible 2 Cd comp called La Voz. As well as a hits cd ‘The Originals: El Cantante’. Where every single track is a monster. Check out Aguanile for proof. There is also a nice radio edit of Louie Vega’s remix of Mi Gente. Who else are you going to get to remix that one? (If you didn’t know Hector happens to be Louie Vega’s uncle.) There is a 12″ coming out soon with an extended version and dub version on the flip that works much better on the dancefloor though. Definately cop that one! But until then, here’s the epic 11 minute version and the equally long dub version for all you serato heads…

and last but certainly not least…Sun of Latin Music is in the middle of posting the entire Hector Lavoe discography!!! Make sure you go and get all those Willie Colon records that he’s featured on as well as all of his solo records. Thanks Julien!

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2 Comments

  1. Willie Colon himself has had a few words to say about the film. Taken from his official website (and much thanks to La Onda Tropical for spreading the word):

    The Creators of El Cantante missed an opportunity to do something of relevance for our community. The real story was about Hector fighting the obstacles of a non-supportive industry that took advantage of entertainers with his charisma and talent. Instead they did another movie about two Puerto Rican junkies. The impact of drugs in the entertainment industry is nothing new; look at Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Whitney Houston today.

    I think Hector deserves the recognition the movie pretended to give him. However, as someone who advised the producers, it’s painfully obvious that they didn’t understand what made him so important. It was the music. It was his talent. They didn’t understand or respect the true importance of our music to people around the world. It’s difficult to comprehend how two individuals who are in the music business like Marc and Jennifer are not aware of the damage and the consequences of promoting only the negative side of our Latin music culture.

    I was disappointed that there wasn’t a minimal effort to correct what I felt were serious chronological and factual errors. This tells me that they expeditiously crafted the simplest cliché script in order to just make a film quickly.

    After the premier of El Cantante in Puerto Rico there were several statements of protest by people who had supported and participated in the project until they saw it. Their complaints were not about sour grapes or J-lo and Marc bashing but from a sense of betrayal and disappointment.

    We are all invested in the world that this movie represents. For many of us the hope of our story finally being told sank into the horizon with the final version of this film.

    –Willie Colón

  2. I totlaly agree with Mr. Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe was more than a drug-addited, he was who taugh us how to sing, how to dance, how to enjoy good music (Salsa). Unfortunately, the producers and people in general did not see it. Even when I enjoyed watching the movie due to my lack of knowledge about Mr. Lavoe’s life, I felt disappointed about the focus they gave to the movie.
    Hector Lavoe is the best Salsa performer ever (personal opinion), and I know lots of people agree with it. and he will until the end of time. Lavoe’s music and himself will live in Salsomanos’ hearts….forever!!!


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