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Elysian Park

My Favorite Taco ~ Bambu

12:45 PM PDT on June 18, 2012

Photo by Eleazar "EL" Teodoro

From the streets of South Los Angeles Bambu epitimizes LA: struggle, smog and determination. Bambu has lived a life that most Angeleños can relate to, which in turn has brought him a swell of loyal fans. Though still underground, his following is growing with every mix-tape and live performance. Currently on tour, Erwin Recinos caught up with Bambu before leaving for a show in Vancouver, Canada.

What's your favorite taco?
Fish tacos for sure! But, it depends on where the chef's recipe is from... Along the coast of Baja California, where the seafood is plentiful, I find that those fish tacos tend to be better!

How long have you been rapping for and who or what were your influences in aspiring to be hip-hop artists? 
I've been rapping since I was 12, but didn't take it seriously til' I was about 23 and didn't make it my full-time gig until I hit 27. I always look to Ice Cube's "Death Certificate" as an influence for creating a complete body of work (music), but as a youth I really enjoyed listening to Outkast.

Where in LA have you lived and has living in that environment made its way in to your lyrics?
I've lived all over Los Angeles: Watts, Hollywood/Koreatown and Elysian Park. I'm from here, the flatlands specifically, and it's part of my DNA, so whatever I write will reflect that! Smog City!!!

What or who inspires you about this city?
This city is angry at its core, because the people of Los Angeles (the real Los Angeles - not the one on TV) have been pushed aside and the youth are given scraps to survive with -- what inspires me is the people's ability to band together in their own respective neighborhoods and stay afloat through it all.

Photos by Eleazar "EL" Teodoro

How do you think the LA Hip Hop scene is looking?
This is a great time in LA right now. We got some great artists coming out of LA and they've all carved out their own distinct sound: you got "gangsta" rap, "hipster" rap, "conscious" rap, "chicano" rap, etc. I hate those labels, but its the easiest way to describe the variety of music coming out of this city. Right now, I really like the Black Hippy stuff, but usually, if you make good music and you're from LA, you're getting thrown into the iPod!

If you could change one thing about this city, what would it be?
The "justice" system.

Your lyrics are politically driven and inspiring. What message do you hope your listeners take away from your music? 
To ask questions! I'm only giving you MY truth, through the shit that I've learned... I would love for listeners to ask questions and ultimately ORGANIZE our communities.

What was it like working with DJ Muggs on Los Angeles, Philippines mixtape?
DJ Muggs has taken my work ethic to the next level. Muggs' work ethic is intense. He could easily just kick his feet up and collect checks -- but, he still puts out amazing music and runs the SA operation very hands on. I've learned a lot from him and see why he's where he's at as a legend in Hip Hop.

What projects do you have coming up that our readers should be on the look out for?
The next album…One Rifle Per Family. It'll drop in the Fall! BANG BANG!

Follow Bambu on Tumblr for tour dates, videos and anything smog related. Download the DJ Muggs x Bambu collab Los Angeles, Philippines (MIXED) here. Photos courtesy of Eleazar "EL" Teodoro.

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