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Jugadores and the Rise of Cumbia Flow
11/14/11 - news


Jugadores Cumbia Flow picture

Representing two major cities in the Deep South, a duo of Latin rappers are leading the movement to popularize Cumbia Flow, the latest subgenre of urban Latin music. Baton Rouge, Louisiana rapper Joe Mexican, along with Houston-born Chicano artist Jaime Mines, have teamed up as "Jugadores" in an effort to create a bold new sound for Hispanic audiences.


Cumbia Flow represents a fusion of traditional Cumbia sounds, and Down South rap music.

Performed in English and Spanish both, the genre combines Cumbia rhythms and instrumentation with the bass lines and drum snares typical to Louisiana rap beats. Although other music artists such as Calle 13 have previously experimented with Cumbia fusions, the Jugadores consider their sound more suited to Latin music's roots. "We're trying to create music that Cumbia was always meant to be, which was dance music," Joe Mexican clarified to

In 2006, Baton Rouge by way of Mexico City rapper Joe Mexican had been actively promoting his latest song, Sueño Callejero. Texas rapper Jaime Mines caught wind of the track through Myspace, and quickly suggested that the two artists work together. Not only did the duo share a Mexican background, but they also discovered a mutual desire to infuse their native country's culture into their music.

Mines and Joe Mexican realized that despite Houston's booming Hispanic population, the majority of Latino H-Town rappers weren't incorporating Mexican sounds into their music. The term Cumbia Flow itself did not originate with the duo, yet Mines found that the name was a perfect fit for his musical concept, and thus a new genre was born.

The Jugadores first realized the potential of Cumbia Flow several years ago while performing at a Texas awards show for Latin rap music artists. "There were Reggaeton artists, there were Latin artists performing rap in English," stated Joe Mexican, describing the lineup of performers that preceded he an Mines. "We came on stage and shut the whole place down, everyone was amazed at this new sound we were bringing." From that point on, the two artists have been on a campaign to promote their personal twist on the combination of genres.

Jaime Mines and Joe Mexican both have a firm belief that Cumbia Flow will one day attract the attention of Spanish television channels such as Univision and MTV Tres, although they may not be the actual artists to break the glass ceiling. Joe Mexican has pointed out that other Hispanic music artists have taken an interest in the genre, which can only benefit their concept over time. The Baton Rouge rapper, who has also earned a name for himself as a Hip Hop video director, believes that the right combination of talent and luck will gain some artist mainstream appeal with the music.

Until Cumbia Flow gains worldwide attention, the Jugadores are hard at work promoting their style of music. Between performing shows at a variety of events in Louisiana and Texas, the two artists have been working on a self-titled album slated for release in 2012. Jaime Mines has also released mixtapes in order to gauge public response to their fusion of genres, and the response has been increasingly positive.

Reggaeton music, once considered little more than a musical fad, has managed to maintain its appeal over time. The Jugadores see Cumbia Flow as one day achieving the same success as Reggaeton, and continue to work hard at promoting the musical concept that is quickly gaining popularity in clubs and on the radio.


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