Shysti Speaks on Latin
Rap Conference in New York
8/25/05 - LatinRapper.com exclusive interview
The Latin Rap Conference
returns September 19-20, filled with high-profile panelists,
speakers and artist performances. San Diego rapper Shysti of
Riverbottom Entertainment, organizer of the the last two Latin
Rap conferences, spoke with us about what to expect from the
event in this exclusive interview.
can people attending the conference expect from this event?
Its gonna be very informative, the panels this year are full
of top notch people. So really informative on two levels, on
where the Latin rap and reggaeton industry is going, and on
what new artists need to do to get into the industry the right
Who are some of the artists that are supposed to be in
attendance, as speakers or just as guests?
Immortal Technique, Psycho Realm, Chingo Bling as far as
performing. Mostly the same ones [as speakers].
Are the performances going to be by local artists, or by
By both. We have the first night, there's going to be a show
at SOBs, and that night will probably have Immortal Technique,
Mellow Man Ace, Psycho Realm, and a bunch of up and coming
What was the attendance like at the last two conferences?
The first one was about 300-350, and the last one was 400.
What made you decide to hold this year's event in New York?
Bringing it a little closer to the industry, a lot of labels
have their main offices in New York, a lot of press, New York
and Los Angeles are the big cities. And doing it in Los
Angeles, its only two hours from San Diego, we might as well
take it to the other side. We figured we'd bring it closer to
home for the artists from the East Coast and Miami who came
out, and make it easier for the executives to attend.
Is it too late for record labels or artists to become event
No, to become official sponsors, some of the bigger
opportunities are already taken, but there are already
showcase opportunities for artists on indie labels, there's
always cocktail party sponsors, basically to put their banners
up. I think we got Hollywood Records sponsoring one night, the
second night is still open.
Who are some of the people involved in putting the
By two companies, one of them is Rhythm Impact, my company.
And the other is called Fuerte, out of New York, that's run by
Rich Isaacson and Jerry Blair.
What motivated you to start holding a Latin rap conference
in the first place?
I was working at a radio station in San Diego doing the
morning show, and we organized a Latin Rap Fest, which was a
big concert. Psycho Realm, Slow Pain, Lil One, Shadow, and it
was the first time all these groups had been on stage
together. A sold out show, no problems, the stigma is that
there's always a problem getting people together. I have a
studio here in San Diego, so everyone stayed with me and
recorded. I realized there was a lot more power if people
stuck together. So lets organize, build a network, help each
other out, grow the industry in a positive way, not just a
West Coast thing.
As far as your own music, have you been working on a new
We just finished Lil Uno's album, we have a new distribution
through Fontana Universal, his is going to drop February of
2006. My album is gonna drop in the spring of 2006.
How much of your music is socially conscious like Cesar
Chavez and Libertad?
100% of my music is socially conscious.
Do you think that rappers, as figures in the public eye,
have a commitment to helping their community or putting a
positive message in their music?
I wouldn't say that rappers have a commitment, but people in
general, I don't care what you do for a living. You have a
commitment, just like you look out for your family, take that
a step further, look out for your community, take that a step
further, look out for people in your race, take that a step
further and look out for all humans on Earth.
Anything else you want to add?
I think everyone does what they do, I think its all part of
the puzzle, some people make music to have fun, and we need
that. Some people make music to spark a conversation, we need
that too. There just has to be a balance.