Luis Armando Lozada Cruz (born September 8, 1971), better known as Vico C, is an American reggaeton rapper and songwriter. He is considered one of the founding fathers of reggaeton and the Father of Rap in Spanish. Vico C has played an influential role in the development of Latin American hip hop.[2][2]

 

 

Biography

Early life and influence

He was born in New York and raised in Puerto Rico. Nicknamed The Philosopher, Luis Armando Lozada Cruz adopted the professional name Vico C. Vico C describes reggaeton as "essentially hip-hop but with a flavor more compatible to the Caribbean." Though he maintains they are of the same essence, Vico C believes the difference lies in the quintessential music style; the beat or rhythm of the music.

As one of the founders of hip hop in Spanish, Vico C was able to show that it was possible for one to be able to rap entirely and compellingly in Spanish using just occasional English phrases or slang terms. He can be seen in the rap movement as far back as its "underground" days ghostwriting and producing music for other young performers in the Puerto Rican rap scene.[2]

Vico C grew up in the Puerta de Tierra barrio in San Juan.[2] He got enrolled in acting classes by the age of nine and began his professional rapping career in 1985. At first, he used to go to bodegas (grocery stores) or pharmacies, buy home recording tapes, record himself singing his songs and then sell the tapes to friends or family.

Career

In 1989, rap in Puerto Rico was at a popular high,[2] and although Vico-C was considered the Godfather of Spanish Hip Hop, there were also others who were rapping in the ghettos (Barrios) such as Brewley MC, Piro JM, Jimmy MC, Bimbo, (Lisa M, Jelly Dee Franceska, came afterwards) Ruben DJ was actually Vico-C's D.J before DJ Negro and the second of the rappers to record,by releasing "La Escuela". Brewley MC had already recorded "El Sida Rap with Green Records" Vico C entered the charts with his song "La Recta Final" which he personally designed the album cover for with his art talents. Vico C was signed to Prime Records and started touring to places like New York, Chicago, Miami, Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, Panama, the Dominican Republic.

Vico C, in 1992 came through with more songs, his singles "Saborealo" and "María" became gold and platinum albums, respectively. Also in 1994, he established his own record company VC Records, promoting such singers as Lissy Estrella, Francheska, and Lisa M who were originally his back up dancers. In the mid-1990s, Vico C was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident. His injuries led to his abuse of heroin, cocaine and alcohol.[4]

Soon after, he became an evangelical Christian and went into a voluntary semi-retirement. In 1998, he resurfaced, with the Christian rap CD Aquel Que Había Muerto.[2] The new CD went gold and in 1999, he returned to the touring scene with his concert Antés y después. Soon after, he released a sequel to Aquel Que Había Muerto. With that, he earned the Latino Rap of the year award by Billboard.

In 2004, Vico C released an album titled En Honor A La Verdad. While it was not a major hit it still sold well and one of the album's singles "El Bueno, El Malo y El Feo", referring to Eddie Dee, himself and Tego Calderón respectively. The single was widely heard. The single was a great combination of the best "Conscience" subgenre of rap artists.

Vico C's recent albums include Desahogo, in early 2005. The album was a success and born June 3, 2006 he came back with another concert, El Encuentro.

Many consider Vico C to be a pioneer of rap. Music industry figures called him the "father and creator of rap".[2] He has worked alongside artists including Big Boy, Eddie Dee, Ivy Queen, Héctor & Tito, Tego Calderón. He has also worked with producers Baby Ranks, Tony Touch and Luny Tunes.

He has sung alongside salsa singer Gilberto Santa Rosa and cumbia group Kumbia Kings.

Vico C tries to maintain a Christian theme throughout his music. His brother Jay Lozada is a salsa musician.

Albums

Studio albums

Compilation albums

Live albums

Accolades

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Awards

YearNominee/workAwardResultRef.
2017HimselfVanguard AwardWon[6]

Billboard Latin Music Awards

YearNominee/workAwardResultRef.
1999Aquel Que Había MuertoLatin Rap Album of the YearWon[7]
2002VivoLatin Rap Album of the YearNominated[8]
2003EmboscadaLatin Rap Album of the YearNominated[9]
2004En Honor A La VerdadLatin Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the YearNominated[10]
2005"Los 12 Discípulos"
Shared with Eddie Dee, Gallego, Tego Calderón, Daddy Yankee, Julio Voltio, Ivy Queen, Zion & Lennox, Johnny Prez, Nicky Jam and Wiso G
Tropical Airplay Track of the Year, New ArtistNominated[11]
2006DesahogoLatin Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the YearNominated[12]

Grammy Awards

YearNominee/workAwardResultRef.
2006DesahogoBest Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative AlbumNominated[13]

Latin Grammy Awards

YearNominee/workAwardResultRef.
2002VivoBest Urban Music AlbumWon[14]
2003EmboscadaNominated[15]
2004En Honor A La VerdadWon[16]
2005DesahogoNominated[17]
2010BabillaNominated[18]
"Sentimiento"Best Urban SongNominated
2017"Papá"Pending[19]

Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame

YearNominee/workAwardResultRef.
2016HimselfLatin Songwriters Hall of Fame – PerformerNominated[20]

Lo Nuestro Awards

YearNominee/workAwardResultRef.
2003EmboscadaUrban Album of the YearNominated[21]
2006DesahogoUrban Album of the YearNominated[22]
"Desahogo"Video of the YearNominated

See also