In depth interview with the legendary Carlos Berrios. Visit him at mysp* Link

What would you change in the Freestyle industry today?

Is there an industry?

Don’t you think that your short reply risks to hurt many people, especially the fans? You seem to be very disappointed by the industry?

Okay, since you insist that I talk about it. Freestyle is no longer a part of the music industry. It’s a music that’s looked down upon because the people that created it are looked down upon. And what I mean by that specifically is the Latino. It was a racist situation when I was doing it and it’s racist today. Let me give you an example. Nothing bothers me more than when I stay up late at night and watch TV. There are commercials for CD compilations for the 80’s and now for the 90’s that never include one Freestyle record. And we had huge records in the late 80’s and early 90’s. But I know the reason why were not included. The reason is that MTV had a policy to not play anything Black or Latino at that time. People like Russell Simmons changed all that for the blacks but we didn’t have anyone to step up to the plate for us. So we were not included in MTV’s driven pop culture. We filmed music videos for our records but they were never played. Ever. So even though we had huge records, no one knew what we looked like. So if you ask the average Joe if they’ve ever heard “Let me be the one”, chances are that they’ll have heard the record. But they won’t know what Safire looks like because they never saw her on MTV. They can’t connect a face to the music. So as far as I’m concerned, racism has kept us out of pop culture. It minimized all the hard work that we did and kept us out of the running for anything as Pop Cultural as the Grammy. Now, with Marc and Jennifer it’s different because Ricky Martin changed everything. Now, the “Latin Thing” is an accepted expression on MTV. But it’s too late for Freestyle because it is now seen as music from the 80’s.

Carlos Berrios Gives Us A Quick History Of Freestyle Group TKA And How They Were Signed To Tommy Boy
Freestyle discussion on Underground Railroad

see also:
Spring Love, Come Back To Me: Freestyle’s HipHop Roots