Cartel de Santa
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Cartel de Santa


Band Hip Hop Latin


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Cartel de Santa @ TBA

Austin, Texas, USA

Austin, Texas, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


Aztec Hip Hop: Control Machete was succesful, now it's time for Cartel de Santa... - Alain Sefchovich

This Album is exactly what Hip Hop in spanish should be... - Ilan Katz


"Cartel de Santa” (Debut Album)
(BMG US Latin)

"Vol. II” (Second Album, released on Dec. 7 in the US)
(BMG US Latin)



"Factor Miedo" (theme Song from 'Fear Factor' Soundtrack / TV Show)
(BMG Entertainment Mexico/SUM Records)

"Ella" (from 'XXX: Tribute to Jose Alfredo Jimenez' - Gold Album in México)
(BMG US Latin)

"Guadalupe" (from Celso Piña's 'Mundo Colombia')
(Warner Mexico)

"Himno de la Jauría" and "Escucha" (from the film 'The Dreamer' starring John Leguizamo)
(Lion's Gate Films)



"Cartel de Santa"
1. Perros
2. Todas Mueren por Mi
3. La Pelotona
4. Factor Miedo

"Vol. II"
1. Blah, Blah, Blah...
2. Mi Chiquita
3. El Arte del Engaño (soon to be released)


Feeling a bit camera shy



It’s been almost 18 months since Cartel de Santa took México by surprise with their debut album. And the path to their second release couldn’t be less impressive.

Straight from La Aurora, one of the first neighborhoods established in Santa Catarina (better known as Santa), the then marginal now industrial west side of Monterrey, México’s metropolitan area, comes MC Babo, a merciless master of urban poetry who has a life chronicle monochromatically printed on his skin. From his pre-teen days as a fearless skateboarder to his first steps as a B-Boy, he was quickly drawn to street life, spending his next years living and absorbing ghetto experience as tatoo artist, graffitti writer, gang member, pimp and even drug dealer, molding what would later become his lyric palette.

By the time Babo reached his troubled twenties, he already lived more than most of his contemporaries in all their lifetimes. After all this years of street smart boot camp and two marriages in between, he started seriously perfecting the skills and artistry he discovered and practiced during that time, rap. Hip Hop became his way of life, and writing his vehicle to accurately represent his particular vision on his neighborhood (el barrio), his people, his hometown, and even his country. Lyrically unrestrained, he turned into a modern day Robin Hood in the crusade of literary anti-aesthetics, stealing from the “Real Academia Española” (the Royal Spanish Academy), in the name of the “Real Academia de la Rima” (the Royal Academy of Rhyme) and giving it back to the “Real Academia de la Calle” (the Royal Academy of the Streets), in which he carries the leading roles as slayer, messiah, narrator and undefeated champion.

His natural talents as a leader quickly led him to go for his own Hip Hop organization, which could not bear a more accurate title: Cartel de Santa. Operating in the same fashion as any cartel, he brought in his street family, and carefully chose the musical allys that could help him implement his master plan: Mono (the 6-string master and indispensable beat maker and sonic architect), Dharius (the rhyme tyrant and Babo’s loyal stage flank) and DJ Agustín (the scratch wizard and incessant beat keeper). It was just a matter of time that labels started looking the Cartel’s way, and Sony-BMG (then BMG) made the first move, signing them almost inmediately to a record deal only by listening to a roughly demoed song and seeing a black and white picture of Babo.

After the successful release of their eponymous debut album in 2003, produced almost entirely by renowned producer Jason Roberts, and which has sold more than 50,000 units only in México so far, the Santa Catarina combo set his mind into making one of the best latin Hip Hop albums ever, which they simply named “Vol. II”. Trenched in his new and aptly named operations base Casa Babylonia, Babo and his pack of hounds joined forces last year with Monterrey producer/engineer Mauricio Garza to start the new journey, an exploration of traditional Hip Hop concepts and ironically sensible themes, with fresh, actual, uptempo beats and sounds, lying on a bed of discrete but efective Latin flavor.

“Vol. II” is an infectious collection of instant hits with a premeditated selection of honor guests that round up a delivery that takes listeners from 0 to 60 from track one:

The tour de force starts with the first single released in México, “Blah, Blah, Blah…” –impeccable hip-funk in which Cartel confidently shows their indifference towards their detractors, included on WB hot new TV series “Jonny Zero”–, followed by “Mi Chiquita” –precise mixture of cuban son over double tempo beats, which honor one of the band’s favorite pastimes, exotic dancers–, “El Arte del Engaño” (“The Art of Deception”) –imminent crossover hit which samples the eighties smash ballad “Todo se Derrumbó” by pop legend Emmanuel, and grants the rights to punish infidelity– and “Santa Muerte” –Babo’s solemn offering to La Santísima Muerte (The Holy Death), to whom he prays to in order to get what he wants.

Mexican neo-diva Julieta Venegas brilliantly portrays a beautiful “Catrina” (mexican traditional expression for the female Grim Reaper) in the visceral “El Dolor del Micro” (“The Microphone’s Pain”), an haunting ode to street violence; straighforward mistress MC Ari Puello from Spain proudly represents the Iberian Peninsula in the contagious “La Plaga del Rap” (“The Rap Plague”), and Puerto Rican reggaeton icon Tego Calderón (El Abayarde) lays his singular flow on the cultural exchange “Conexión Puerto Rico” (“Puerto Rico Connection”), which proves the strange parallelism between Monterrey and Puerto Rico.

The runway is superbly complemented by new faces like El Basi (from Efecto) and ex-con Mr. Pomel –crazy enough to accurately tell the story of Cartel’s “Crónica Babilonia” (“Babylon Chronicles”), entertainingly cannabis-certified track–; Micho (from Duho), Javu and Pio