Saboteur Media in association with Codigo Films present the feature documentary “We Like It Like That,” which tells the story of Latin boogaloo, a colorful expression of 1960s Latino soul, straight from the streets of New York City.
Directed by Mathew Ramirez Warren, the film showcases a sound that redefined a generation, from its origins in 1960s East Harlem, the South Bronx and parts of Brooklyn, exploring a fascinating, often overlooked, bridge in Latin music history, born in the barrios of NYC and would eventually spawn a generation of chart-topping music artists and a global music movement that is once again alive and well today.
A fusion of Afro-Cuban music with R&B, jazz, funk and rock, Latin boogaloo was born during a period of revolution and social awakening, as young Latinos searched for their identity. Much of this music was released by Alegre, Cotique and Fania Records during the 1960s and 70s. But as salsa, a more traditional style of Latin music, grew in popularity by the 1970s, some say the Latin boogaloo was killed off, not by the fans, but by cultural and industry politics.
By the 2000s, after decades of obscurity, the artists who made Latin boogaloo popular finally began to get the recognition they deserved, with the help of DJs and new bands such as DJ Turmix, The Boogaloo Assassins and Ray Lugo & the Boogaloo Destroyers, that pay tribute to the genre.
Some of the notable artists featured in the film include Joe Bataan, a former gang leader who spent several years in prison before starting a band and becoming known as the “King of Latin Soul” and continues to be one of the most popular and active Latin boogaloo luminaries working today; Ricardo Ray, a Juilliard trained piano player who along with his singer, Bobby Cruz, recorded the first known Latin boogaloo “Lookie, Lookie” and went on to enjoy international fame in Latin music; Johnny Colon, the influential multi-instrumentalist, composer and bandleader who was a key player in the boogaloo scene and behind the first major latin boogaloo hit, “Boogaloo Blues,” a controversial song at the time for its chorus “LSD’s got a hold on me;” Jimmy Sabater, the late singer and percussionist for the Joe Cuba Sextet who helped write “Bang Bang,” the first boogaloo song to break through as a national hit; Pete Rodriguez, the bandleader whose group created “I Like it Like That,” the biggest Latin boogaloo hit of the 1960s and a repeat chart topper when it was covered in the 1990s.
The film was an official selection of the SXSW Film Festival in 2015, and will be released on VOD (iTunes) on Tuesday, March 15; before that, it’ll be released on Reel House on March 1.
Additionally on March 11, “We Like It Like That: The Story of Latin Boogaloo Volume One” original motion picture soundtrack will be released digitally on Fania Records, featuring 14 classic latin boogaloo tracks from legendary music icons featured in the film such as Pete Rodriguez (“I Like It Like That”), Joe Bataan (“Ordinary Guy,” “Subway Joe”), Richie Ray (“Lookie Lookie”), Ray Barretto (“New York Soul”), Eddie Palmieri (“Azucar”), LeBron Brothers (“Summertime Blues”) and more.