Wednesday, January 6, 2010
THE MEAN MACHINE
The Mean Machine was a rap group composed of Puerto Ricans who rapped in both English and Spanish. They are known for the single, Disco Dream, released as a 12" 33 RPM single in 1981 on the Sugar Hill Records label. They recorded other songs on the Honey Hush label. The group is often cited as the first bilingual rap group, and is possibly the first ever Latino rap group.
The best description of the group is one written (at least partially) by former group member Mr. Schick, found on OldSchoolHipHop.com:
"The Mean Machine went through a few members in the late 70s, before settling to the final four members at the end of 1979. About a year and a half later, they were knocking on the doors of Sugar Hill Records and auditioning for Sylvia Robinson and her crew. They rapped in both English and in Spanish making them one of the first bilingual rap groups around. Sylvia loved the idea of making a bilingual rap record and released their first single "Disco Dream" in the summer of 1981. Hispanics all over the country went crazy over the group when they heard Spanish rap for the first time. This of course lead to the opening of doors to Latin America. The group was shelved by Sugar Hill following a radio interview they did with Frankie Crocker at New York’s WBLS. One of the members said something about the label that didn’t sit well. The group split up and hasn’t recorded since."