Ozomatli: Don’t Mess With the Dragon

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Like Los Lobos, Ozomatli was born and raised in Los Angeles and their music reflects the essence of the city, blending the city’s multi-cultural flavor.  Where Los Lobos used the traditional sounds of Mexican folk and fused them with the rock ‘n’ roll, Ozomatli brings together hip-hop, ska, rock, and the Latin flavors that are so prevalent in their home city. 

Their fourth full length studio release Don’t Mess With The Dragon, plays as Ozomatli’s love song to L.A.  As bassist Wil-Dog says, “We wanted to celebrate L.A., but on a street level.”   This is never more apparent than the second song “City of Angels," as the song starts off with the simple spoken phrase, “Let me tell you something about L.A…I LOVE IT!”, before breaking into a ska driven bass and horn line that leads into an up-tempo party-style rap that distills all that is L.A. and Ozomatli into three minutes and fifteen seconds.  Don’t Mess With the Dragon stays true to this up-tempo form, and while it eschews some of their more politically driven lyrics of previous releases, it loses none of the energy, and is easily one of Ozomatli’s strongest recordings to date. 

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