Quique Cruz: A Nuyorican Emcee/Producer coming out of Southern California with an arsenal of lyrics, and beats that vary from Hip-Hop, Reggaeton, to Dancehall music.
Quique Cruz, a gifted Emcee/Producer of Puerto Rican descent, was born April 9, 1976 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York. With Hip Hop Culture all around him it was inevitable he would, one day, become involved in the movement. At the age of ten he packed up his bags and flew to the West Coast, with his mother and brother. Santa Ana, California was his final destination, and Quique was never to return to his place of birth. His migration to the West couldn’t have been more timely, as Hip Hop Culture was moving in the same direction at the same time. With Rap music’s heavy influence of Reggae, this fusion would soon become apparent in the lifesyle of young Quique (pronounced kee-keh).
As a youth, Quique was into freestyle dancing/choreography and toured in his early teens with a dance crew including his older brother, dancing for rap groups who were at the time up and coming. Being in this sort of atmosphere inspired him to persue a career in the music industry. He started writing rhymes to the instrumentals of all his favorite artists. By the time he reached eighteen years of age he would borrow a friends sampler and 4-Track, allowing him to exercise his music composition skills.
Today, Quique Cruz is himself a proficient producer and emcee, also adding videographer and graphic designer to his repertoire. As an emcee he loves to perform, and has been rocking crowds since ’95. In that time, Quique has had the opportunity to open up for many prominant artists in Hip-Hop and Reggae music. He has shared a stage with artists like KRS-One, Sizzla, Ozomatli, Digital Underground, Cypress Hill, EPMD, Visionaries, Junior Ried, Living Legends, Medusa and many, many more.
Somewhat of a local legend in Orange County, CA, Quique (pronounced kee-keh) has been recording, performing, producing and collaborating with artist from all over Southern California since 1989. Some of his most notable accomplishments (although under a former name & artistic identity, Natty Roots) are collaborations with LMNO & Mums The Word, “Know” (a Hip-Hop/Dancehall fusion featured on Mums The Word’s 2003 album release People Keep Moving), a feature on DJ Drez’s 2000 12″ vynil release “Say It Loud,” producing the B-side track of Ras Ceylon’s 2006 12″ vynil release “Western Front”/”Hate Proof” and a 6″ vynil release with Isouljahs in 2006 called “Wadadda.” Quique has production credits & features all over the Orange County underground Hip-Hop scene, going as far back as 1995. Needless to say, musically, he is a seasoned vet.
Quique prides himself with his wide range of lyrical & vocal styles, coupled with his versatility in production. His debut album, “1Boricua”, is a showcase of the range & versatility Quique has to offer. He switches, seamlessly, from that raw, underground sound, to a polished up, mainstream sound. He can change from english to spanish, killer to comical, from Hip-Hop to Dancehall to Reggaeton, then back to Hip-Hop, effortlessly, without ever skipping a beat.
Watch, listen and take notes.