Sindicato Argentino del Hip Hop
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Sindicato Argentino del Hip Hop is a hip hop group formed in Argentina. They currently consist of three members: Smoler, DJ Fabry and Huexo , and two producers, but they have had different numbers of members over time . Their style mainly consists of hip hop and funk. The group received a Latin Grammy award in 2001 for best hip hop/rap album.
Sindicato Argentino del Hip Hop, which stands for Argentine Hip Hop Syndicate, started as a group of old-school hip-hop culture fans in the early nineties in Morón, a city in the western outskirts of Buenos Aires. In 1996 when Buenos Aires underground hip-hop scene emerged with the first CD compilation of local artists, Sindicato was heading the scene. Back then it was a full live band with up to 10 musicians and two MC's: Smoler (back then spelled Smaller) and Derek. They recorded two songs for that CD compilation called Nación Hip Hop, produced by Zeta Bosio of Soda Stereo. One of them, "Del Barrio" (Spanish for "from the hood") became the only single out of that album and had a video on Latin MTV during 1997.
In 1998 the band added to new MC's: Huexo (Smoler's brother) and Frost (who used to go by D-Frost and before that MC Villa). Later on they got rid of the live instrumentation and Fabri, who used to be the drummer became the DJ. During 1999 they disappeared from the local scene, focusing on recording and developing their production skills. They came out with an underground cassette release distributed locally only in small quantities. It was during this time that they were featured in the hip-hop documentary El Juego (by Juan Data and Ariel Winograd).
After being spotted in that documentary by a record producer, they signed a contract with Universal Records, becoming the first Argentine rap group ever to get signed to a major label. However a lot of people in the local scene saw it as a betrayal to their underground roots, since they had to change their sound and made it more radio-friendly to be able to sign that contract.
Un Paso A La Eternidad was their first official album and didn't make too much noise in Argentina until the album was awarded a Latin Grammy for the best rap in Spanish album of the year. That lead them to tour Latin America and the United States, where their album was released by Universal Latino in 2002.
Little after the first album came out, Derek left the group, leaving only three MC's: brothers Smoler and Huexo and Frost who was one of the original pioneers of Argentine hip-hop scene, being active since the mid 80's. For a while, at the end of 2002, they lived in Miami, Florida where they met their new manager who would later take them to Puerto Rico, where they became more successful than in their homeland. In the meantime they recorded a song called "Piénsalo" (Spanish for "Think about it") for a compilation published in Chile and Spain and in that song they insulted Argentine music journalist and former friend of the band Juan Data.
Through all this years, el Sindicato were victims of a long list of beefs, the most known with rivals Koxmoz, but they never gave this beefs too much importance.
Their second album, Sangre Sudor & Furia was released first in Puerto Rico and they never officially played it in Argentina. A little after the album came out, Frost announced that he was starting his solo career and leaving Sindicato. Many thought that was the end of the group but in 2007 they announced a come-back with the last three remaining members: Smoler, Huexo and Fabri.
In 2009 Frost will release his debut solo album "En Estado Libre" (In Free State, referring to his freedom from Sindicato) through independent international label PHHAT, with production from 23-year-old MC Say.
- Smoler's original rappers name was Smaller.
- Frost, formerly known as MC Villa, was one of the first three MC's to start rhyming in Spanish in Argentina along Mike Dee and Jazzy Mel.
- Critics pointed out that Sindicato claims to be Argentine in their name but on their lyrics they use "tú" instead of "vos" which would be the proper colloquial way of speaking in Argentina. It's discussed if that is a conscious strategy to appeal to an international audience more than the local one.
- In 1998 Sindicato Argentino Del Hip Hop was the first rap artists in their country to make a song over a tango sample, the unreleased "Tiempo Perdido". After 2000 many hip-hop artists started sampling tango (the local equivalent to American jazz).
- Nación Hip Hop -compilation- (BMG, 1997)
- Un Paso a la Eternidad (Universal Records, 2001)
- Sangre, Sudor y Furia (Universal Records, 2005)