Vico C is an American rapper and reggaeton artist of Puerto Rican descent. He is considered one of the fathers of reggaeton and has played an influential role in the development of Spanish hip hop.
He was born in New York and raised in Puerto Rico. Nicknamed The Philosopher, Lozada Cruz adopted the professional name Vico C. He is a prime example of a Puerto Rican artist who was directly influenced by rap in the United States.
Rap and hip hop culture in the United States has come to influence Puerto Rican music by way of the mass media and the inevitable cultural exchange that occurs through the constant migration of persons between the United States and Puerto Rico.
Through these lines of communication new musical developments and technologies are consistently exchanged between the two places. Vico C’s music inherently reflects this cultural intermixture. He even goes as far as to describe reggaeton as “essentially hip-hop but with a flavor more compatible to the Caribbean.” Though he maintains they are of the same essence, Vico C believes the difference lies in the quintessential music style; the beat or rhythm of the music.
As one of the founders of hip hop in Spanish, Vico C was able to show that it was possible for one to be able to rap entirely and compellingly in Spanish using just occasional English phrases or slang terms. He can be seen in the reggaeton movement as far back as its “underground” days ghostwriting and producing music for other young performers in the Puerto Rican rap scene.
Vico C grew up in the Puerta de Tierra barrio in San Juan. He got enrolled in acting classes by the age of nine and began his professional rapping career in 1984. At first, he used to go to bodegas (grocery stores) or pharmacies, buy home recording tapes, record himself singing his songs and then sell the tapes to friends or family. His first production earned him a grand total of 20 dollars.
In 1989, Vico C finally got his first big break. Rap in Puerto Rico was at a popular high, and Ruben DJ had become extremely popular with his radio hit “La Escuela” (“The School”). Vico C entered the charts with his super hit “La Recta Final” (“The Final Stretch”). With this song, Vico C reached international fame. Vico C started touring frequently to places like New York, Chicago, Miami, Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and more places.
Vico C in 1992 came through with more major hits, his singles “Saborealo” (“Taste it”) and “María” became gold and platinum albums, respectively. In 1994 however, Vico C suffered a car accident while on tour in the Dominican Republic, and had to be hospitalized a considerable amount of time. At the same time, rumors of his alleged drug use became constant among the general public.
Also in 1994, he established his own record company, promoting such singers as Francheska and Lisa M.