Mala Rodríguez

Lujo Ibérico

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AllMusic Review by John Bush

With J. Lo fast becoming just a latter-day Olivia Newton-John, the task fell to a new generation of Latinas to stand up for themselves. Spanish rapper La Mala Rodríguez may not have the same crossover potential (at least, not until she starts rapping in English), but her debut, Lujo Ibérico, is an intriguing record, and not a mainstream one in the least. First, she's a great rapper with a solid delivery that owes much more to low, monotonal rappers like DMX or Eve than most foreign rappers. The production -- by Supernafamacho and Jota Mayúscula -- is hard-hitting and mostly minimalist, the tracks driven by little more than sample riffs and drumbreaks, with little bass. There's some imaginative scratching on "Con Diez o Con Veinte," but for the most part, these are backgrounds for Rodríguez's rapping. It's understandably difficult, however, to get hooked by a rap album when you don't know the language, and that takes a lot away from Lujo Ibérico for non-Spanish speakers.

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