The story of Mellow Man Ace begins in Cuba… Born under communism in Cuba, Mellow Man Ace became his families’ ticket to freedom and passport to the United States. At that time in Cuba, having a child meant a family became eligible for an exit visa. “I was the third born and my number hit the lotto, although we didn’t get to leave until four years later due to politics. My family gives me the credit for being here enjoying our freedom in the U.S.” Upon arriving in America, the family was greeted in Miami, moved to New Jersey and ended up in South Gate, California on Cypress Avenue where it all began. Mellow Man first got into rap music in 1983 after hearing The Treacherous Three for the first time. When I first heard rap, I knew I had found my calling.” Writing as many rhymes as he could and cutting demos with his brother Sen Dog and B-Real, he still hadn’t found his exact niche within Hip-Hop. With a lot of persistence and hard work, he perfected his bilingual style. “I was ecstatic to realize I could fulfill my dreams and represent for my Latino people all in one!” Ulpiano Sergio Reyes (Mellow Man Ace) and older brother Senen Reyes (Sen Dog) formed a rap quartet DVX (Devastating Vocal Xcellence) with Lawrence Muggerud (DJ Muggs) and Louis Freese (B-Real). After a few years Mellow Man was signed by Delicious Vinyl and then Capitol Records to launch a solo career and sell over more than 2 million units worldwide. The remaining three members formed the group Cypress Hill, named after Cypress Avenue, the street in South Gate where they all grew up. With the debut of his first LP entitled Escape from Havana on Capitol Records, Mellow Man created a unique style of rap that traded off between his native tongue Spanish and English, he called it “Spanglish”. Mellow would not only be the creator of “Spanglish” and Spanish rap, but also the first Latin rap artist to reach Gold and Platinum sales in the U.S. and Latin America. This achievement would open a non-existent door for a host of other groups such as Control Machete, Big Pun, Fat Joe and The Beatnuts to name a few.

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