Ray Acosta and Wu-Tang
7/30/05 - LatinRapper.com exclusive interview
With Spanish-language rap
and reggaeton finding itself on BET, MTV and radio more
often lately, several Latin-interest labels have popped
up. Enter Ray Acosta, who recently created the Latin-owned
Wu Tang Latino record label.
The label president and long time Rza associate took time out
to speak with us about Wu-Latino in an exclusive interview.
LatinRapper.com: When did the idea for Wu-Tang Latino first
Let me tell you how the deal came about. Some of the majors
heard that I was looking for a label deal, ‘cause I worked on
all those projects at UBO, so they offered me deals but I
wasn't really feeling the ones they were offering me. I know
Rza and his brother Divine for about 10 years now, so I met
with them, and told them the idea about Wu-Tang Latino, Wu
Latino as we call it now. And they felt it, and they said if
you wanna do it, do it. They have their own creativity, free
to do whatever they wanted to do, I wanted to do that, that's
more or less how it came about.
Did you have particular artists in mind at the time?
Well yea, I had Los Yo Yai, they're an underground group that
sold between 20 and 30 thousand units underground. Impetus,
and Ramses, I had them in mind before I did the label, and
they all wanted to work with me because they all knew about my
past history. So I told them, I'm doing Wu-Tang Latino, you
wanna do your own thing or come with me? And they said, "we'll
go with you", and they're very very good artists.
Who else is involved in decisions involving the label?
I make all the final decisions with Wu-Tang Latino. But every
time a decision comes about that's a little confusing, like a
little bump, I always consult with Rza's brother Divine,
because he has more experience in the corporate world. And
we're partners anyway, so we talk before things get done.
And Ed Rosa's involved, right?
He does my press and media, he's director for media. He's a
hard worker, very good guy, he makes it happen.
What's Rza's involvement in the label?
Rza is also part owner of the label too, him and his brother
own Wu-Tang, so hooking up with his brother is hooking up with
him. Rza gonna be doing some production work for us in the
future, for us to do hip hop, we have a lot of things going on
A few people have questioned whether the label's creation
is an attempt to cash in on the latest surge in popularity of
Latin artists and music. What's your response to this?
Its very simple, man. Different people started labels to do
the same thing, but they weren't Latino. We are run by
Latinos. This is our time, time for Latinos to stand up for
ourselves. And I'm doing it, I'm the head here. The big boys
offered me to labels to do the same, but I'm doing it here.
Like when hip hop started in the 80s, everyone became a rapper
or a hip hop label. Same thing now, but there's a demand now.
‘Cause if you notice reggaeton, right, you got Clear Channel
stations switching from rock to reggaeton. When they flip like
that, its tells you something. Hip hop is gettin' bigger.
Who are some of the artists on your roster?
Los Yo Yai, they are consist of NP Killah, Shown Black. And
Fuego, that's one group. I got Impetus, whose hip hop is fire,
he's like Jay-Z, Nas, and Pun altogether, but in Spanish,
that's how nice he is. I got Ramses from P.R., whose a
producer slash artist. Then I got Rooster, who's one of the
youngest reggaeton artists from P.R..
Can we expect collaborations from other Wu-Tang Clan
Yes, I've a compilation CD coming out in a few months called
Wu-Tang Latino: Quemando el Genero. We have some tracks from
Wu-Tang, its fire. It's a great compilation, people listen to
it and its like, whoa.
Are you looking for new acts, can people reach out to you
if they want their demo heard?
They could reach out to me, but what I'm looking for is fresh,
innovative artists, totally different than the norm. A
different sound, different production skills, so when the
competition goes right, we go left (laughs).
So is this label more reggaeton than hardcore hip hop?
Its reggaeton Latin hip hop. If you know Latin hip hop, its
totally different than urban hip hop, its got a more tropical
sound, Latin sounds in it, a bit softer. I do both, Latin hip
hop and reggaeton, but believe me, all that's gonna change. I
believe in a year or two, its all gonna be hip hop, Latin hip
hop, reggaeton, under one umbrella.
How will Wu-Tang Latino differ from any other label?
My thing is, with Wu-Tang Latino, I wanna take reggaeton to
the urban market, take urban hip hop and mix it together, so
we can have both features on the same album. Like have a hip
hop artist on a reggaeton track, or the other way around.
That's what I'm looking to do.
Latinos are the largest minority and were part of hip hop
history from the start, yet aren't that visible on videos or
heard too much on the radio. Do you think you can help change
Of course, not only help change it. People are doing it right
now. Daddy Yankee's doing it, Tego, Don Omar, we all moving
forward. Like you said, you don't see them on MTV, but if you
notice MTV just added an hour called Reggaeton and Rhythms. If
they added that, it means we're coming, and they know we're
How do you see the role of Latinos in hip hop changing over
the next 10 years?
The next ten years... Latinos and hip hop, don't get me wrong,
Latinos from the beginning we been here, supporting them.
Remember the Blacks and the Latinos, we come from the same
hood and always supported each other. We gonna be bigger, we
gonna be right with them, side by side.
You were V.P. of marketing over at Urban Box Office -
VP marketing of Latin music.
What brought you to where you are now?
My skills, I always wanted to do something different, I'm
always looking for an adventure, a risk to take. Not something
better, but something else to do to keep me going. When I was
over there, I always did things different from anyone else. I
always look at the competition and what they were doing, I
always wanted to do something different. I'm one of the
cofounders of Latin Flava, we were one of the biggest Latin
websites when the big boom came, since ‘95. And then we became
a record label, and I'm one of the cofounders of that, so I
been in there for a minute.
From what I understand, you were part of the reggaeton
movement for a considerable amount of time, is this true?
Yeah. Let me tell you, when I first started working reggaeton
here in the states (versus Puerto Rico), in New York, I'm
talking two years ago, I used go to radio and give them the
reggaeton tracks. They didn't want to hear it, they didn't
want to play it. Now, 70% of that station, its reggeaton, in
the Calle its 100% reggaeton, I've experienced a revolution of
reggaeton in the states.
What can we expect from Wu-Tang Latino this year?
Look out for the compilation, coming hard, coming different,
new music, different music. Its got a little Wu flavor to it.
Anything else you want to add?
Let Latinos know out there it's our time to shine, we have to
look out for one another and see how we can work together to
make this happen.
Wu Tang Latino official
Wu Tang Latino on Myspace: