Growing up, the person who wore the pants and was the "godfather" (or "godmother" in this case) of my family was my grandma. She pretty much ran the show as far as my parents and grandparents went. She partied the hardest and would drink my dad and grandpa under the table week after week. She also loved herself some "Balladas". These were pretty much the first tunes I can recall being familiar with (besides the corny Menudo records that we were force fed as kids) since the songs played on what seemed like repeat every weekend. I remember stopping at the record shop in Times Square located underground in between the shuttle and the 1 train to browse through LP's en route to go shopping in my grandma's favorite neighborhood in the city; "El Barrio Chino" or China Town in english. Unlike most hip hop fans who came up on soul tunes and LP's from their parents, my first contact with vinyl and music was through these records. I loved analyzing the artwork and reading the labels and logos on the sleeves. One of these albums was Jose Jose's "Secretos". I remember the first track specifically titled "Lo Dudo" as one her favorites.
Fast forward to spring of 1998. That year DMX was taking the industry by storm, replacing Diddy's shiny suit era with gritty street corner rhymes and equally hard beats. His freshman opus "It's Dark and Hell It's Hot" was the most anticipated album of the year and set off an amazing run for the Ruff Ryders crew. I was puttin' in work having already been makin' moves on the spinnin' front and gettin' ready to graduate from Syracuse.. I was trying to get into the production end and that xmas of '97 had rummaged my grandma's Balladas vinyl collection in hopes of going in a different direction than the monotonous jazzy ummah/beatminerz samples and soulful primo & pete rock chops being copied by every new jack producer out.. One of these records I chose to sample was the aforementioned "Lo Dudo". To put a long story short, Younglord beat me to the punch and used it for one of my favorite joints off that first X album, "Let Me Fly" and opened the door for dudes like Alchemist to start invading the Spanish samples section at A1 record shop..
Jose Jose - "Lo Dudo"