Toppa Top 10: Top Caribbean Culture Documentaries

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April 19, 2011

5. From Mambo to Hiphop (2006)

Subtitled “A South Bronx Tale,” From Mambo To Hiphop is much more, a rich story about the migration of culture from the islands of Puerto Rico and Cuba to those of New York City. Henry Chalfant, the man behind original hip-hop doc Style Wars lays out the ontributions Latin folks made to Bronx-birthed Hip Hop culture like a game of dominoes. You quickly discover where the original B-Boys like Crazy Legs and them learned their moves (let’s just say the nightclub ain’t nothing new). Just the same there are some awesome, rare performances by Tito Puente and some of the early salsa bands. Watch the preview here and catch the whole thing, in seven parts, on YouTube. And for an even more seminal look at Nuyorican music culture (though more of a concert film than a proper documentary), check 1972’s Fania Records-produced Our Latin Thing, also viewable on YouTube in its entirety.