Luis Armando Lozada Cruz (born September 8, 1971), better known by his stage name Vico C, is an American born-Puerto Rican rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer.[2] Widely regarded as the "Father of Latin Hip Hop", as well as the founding father of reggaeton, Vico C has played an influential role in the development of Latin American hip hop and urban music.[citation needed]

Vico C
Vico - C en Puerto Rico (cropped).jpg
Vico – C in 2018.
Luis Armando Lozada Cruz

(1971-09-08) September 8, 1971 (age 49)[1]
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active1985–present
Sonia Torres
(m. 1996)
Musical career
LabelsCapitol Latin


Early life and influenceEdit

He was born in New York and raised in Puerto Rico. Nicknamed El Filósofo del Rap, ("The Philosopher of Rap"),[3] Luis Armando Lozada Cruz adopted the professional name Vico C. Vico C describes reggaeton as "essentially hip-hop but with a flavor more compatible to the Caribbean."[4] 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. [5]

As one of the founders of hip hop in Spanish,[6] 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 rap movement as far back as its "underground" days ghostwriting and producing music for other young performers in the Puerto Rican rap scene.[7]

Vico C grew up in the Puerta de Tierra barrio in San Juan.[7] He got enrolled in acting classes by the age of nine and began his professional rapping career in 1985. 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. Vico C was discovered by DJ Negro in 1985 whom immediately saw the great potential of hip hop in Spanish and chose to record Vico's earliest demos. Upon the positive reaction from the barrio, DJ Negro brought Vico to the most successful hip hop promoter in Puerto Rico, Jorge Oquendo (also known as 'El Sexy Boy'). Jorge Oquendo formed the record label 'Prime Records' with Vico C as the lead artist of the label. Prime Records eventually received a distribution deal via Sony BMG Latin. Prime Records is one of the most successful and influential record labels in the history of Spanish rap and reggaeton known for being the home to legendary acts such as DJ Negro, Vico- C, El General, Lisa M, Falo, Brewley MC and more.[8][9]

In May 2019 he suffered seizures resulting from an allergic reaction to medication and was hospitalized but recovered.[2]


In 1985, Spanish rap in Puerto Rico was not at a popular high,[7] and Vico-C was the first one to rap in Spanish in Puerto Rico, considered the Godfather of Spanish Hip Hop and the pioneer of this genre, there were others who followed in his footsteps, rapping in the ghettos. Brewley MC, Piro JM, Jimmy MC, Bimbo, (Lisa M, Jelly Dee Franceska, came afterward) Ruben DJ was the first rapper to sound on the radio by releasing "La Escuela" after Vico C fame was already known on the whole island for his underground lyrics. Brewley MC also recorded "El Sida Rap with Green Records". Vico C entered the charts with his song "La Recta Final" which he personally designed the album cover for, with his artistic talents. Vico C was signed to Prime Records and started touring to venues in New York, Chicago, Miami, Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, Panama, the Dominican Republic[citation needed].

Vico C, in 1992 released his singles "Saborealo" and "María" which became gold and platinum albums, respectively[citation needed]. In 1994, he established his own record company VC Records, promoting such singers as Lissy Estrella, Francheska, and Lisa M who were originally his back up dancers. In 1990, Vico C was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident. His injuries led to his abuse of heroin, cocaine, and alcohol.[10][11]

Soon after, he became an evangelical Christian and went into a voluntary semi-retirement. In 1998, he resurfaced, with the "rambunctious", Christian rap CD Aquel Que Había Muerto.[12][13] The new CD went gold and in 1999, he returned to the touring scene with his concert Antes y después. Soon after, he released a sequel to Aquel Que Había Muerto. With that, he earned the Latino Rap of the year award by Billboard.

In 2003, Vico C released an album titled En Honor A La Verdad. While it was not a major hit it still sold well and one of the album's singles "El Bueno, El Malo y El Feo", referring to Eddie Dee, himself and Tego Calderón respectively. The single was widely heard. The single was a great combination of the best "Conscience" subgenre of rap artists.

Vico C's recent albums include Desahogo, in early 2005. The album was a success and born June 3, 2006, he came back with another concert, El Encuentro.

Many consider Vico C to be a pioneer of rap[weasel words]. Music industry figures[who?] called him the "father and creator of rap".[12] He has worked alongside artists including Big Boy, Eddie Dee, Héctor & Tito, Tego Calderón[citation needed]. He has also worked with producers Baby Ranks, Tony Touch and Luny Tunes[citation needed].

He has sung alongside salsa singer Gilberto Santa Rosa and cumbia group Kumbia Kings[citation needed].

Vico C tries to maintain a Christian theme throughout his music[original research?]. His brother Jay Lozada is a salsa musician.

In 2020 music by Vico C was part of the annual Banco Popular Christmas songs compilation album.[14]


Vico C is renowned as the most influential artist in the history of Spanish Hip Hop and Reggaeton throughout Latin America and Spain. Vico is recognized for having lyrics that were thoughtful, insightful, socially conscious as well as catchy and danceable songs for all kind of audiences. The musical blueprint implemented by DJ Negro and Vico C is the precursor of the genre now known as reggaeton. Many Spanish hip hop/reggaeton journalists and experts consider Vico C as the greatest or one of the greatest artists in the history of the genre.[15][16]


Studio albumsEdit

Compilation albumsEdit

Live albumsEdit

  • Vivo (2001)
  • El Encuentro (2006)


American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers AwardsEdit

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2017 Vico C Vanguard Award Won [17]

Billboard Latin Music AwardsEdit

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref.
1999 Aquel Que Había Muerto Latin Rap Album of the Year Won [18]
2002 Vivo Latin Rap Album of the Year Nominated [19]
2003 Emboscada Latin Rap Album of the Year Nominated [20]
2004 En Honor A La Verdad Latin Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year Nominated [21]
2005 "Los 12 Discípulos"
Shared with Eddie Dee, Gallego, Tego Calderón, Daddy Yankee, Julio Voltio, Ivy Queen, Zion & Lennox, Johnny Prez, Nicky Jam and Wiso G
Tropical Airplay Track of the Year, New Artist Nominated [22]
2006 Desahogo Latin Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year Nominated [23]

Grammy AwardsEdit

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2006 Desahogo Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album Nominated [24]

Latin Grammy AwardsEdit

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2002 Vivo Best Urban Music Album Won [25]
2003 Emboscada Nominated [26]
2004 En Honor A La Verdad Won [27]
2005 Desahogo Nominated [28]
2010 Babilla Nominated [29]
"Sentimiento" Best Urban Song Nominated
2017 "Papá" Nominated [30]

Latin Songwriters Hall of FameEdit

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2016 Vico C Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame – Performer Nominated [31]
2018 Pending [32]

Lo Nuestro AwardsEdit

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2003 Emboscada Urban Album of the Year Nominated [33]
2006 Desahogo Urban Album of the Year Nominated [34]
"Desahogo" Video of the Year Nominated

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Birchmeier, Jason. "Daddy Yankee Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Fernandez, Suzette (May 20, 2019). "Rapper Vico C Rushed to the Hospital After Several Seizures". Billboard. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  3. ^ "Vico C dicta los términos de su 'Recta Final' por más larga que sea". Univision (in Spanish).
  4. ^ Rivera, R.Z.; Marshall, W.; Hernandez, D.P.; Radano, R.; Kun, J.; Flores, J. (2009). Reggaeton. Refiguring American Music. Duke University Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-8223-9232-3. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Vico C – Timeline featuring albums and other highlights from his career and personal life". Retrieved 2020-11-25.
  6. ^ "TOP 10 Latin Hip Hop Artists". Latino Life.
  7. ^ a b c Interview: Vico C Still Holds it Down for Puerto Rico
  8. ^ Chente Ydrach (16 November 2016). "Entrevista al Sexy Boy – Ep 137 Masacote" – via YouTube.
  9. ^ Chente Ydrach (9 November 2016). "Entrevista a Dj Negro – Masacote ep 136" – via YouTube.
  10. ^ "Vico C Profile".
  11. ^ Rodríguez, Yomaris. "Motivado por la rabia Vico C". El Vocero de Puerto Rico (in Spanish).
  12. ^ a b Courage Defined: Vico C Interview
  13. ^ "How Bad Bunny Took Over Pop – Singing Exclusively In Spanish". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Latin Christmas Songs Sleighing The Season in 2020: Throwbacks, Twists & Good Tidings That Rock!". Billboard.
  15. ^ "Vico C "El Filosofo" llegara a colombia en el mes de noviembre – Flow Radio Fm".
  16. ^ "Vico C: el padre del reaggetón que reniega del género – La Tercera".
  17. ^ Flores, Griselda (December 19, 2016). "2017 ASCAP Latin Awards to Honor El Gran Combo & Vico C". Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  18. ^ Ross, Karl (June 26, 1999). "Career Resuscitation: Christian Rapper Vico C Preaches Positivity". Billboard magazine. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  19. ^ "2002 Billboard Latin Awards". May 10, 2002. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  20. ^ "2003 Billboard Latin Awards Finalists". February 2, 2003. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  21. ^ "Billboard Latin Music Awards Finalists". January 17, 2004. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  22. ^ "2005 Billboard Latin Music Awards Finalists". February 11, 2005. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  23. ^ "2006 Billboard Latin Music Awards Finalists". February 16, 2006. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  24. ^ "The Complete List of Grammy Nominations". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. December 8, 2005. p. 3. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
  25. ^ "List of winners at the 3rd annual Latin Grammy awards". September 19, 2002. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  26. ^ "Juanes wins four Latin Grammys". September 4, 2003. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  27. ^ "5th Annual Latin Grammy Awards Winners". September 1, 2004. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  28. ^ "Complete list of 6th annual Latin Grammy nominations". November 2, 2005. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  29. ^ Cobo, Leila (October 11, 2010). "Latin Grammy 2010 Predictions: And the Winner Is..." Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  30. ^ "NOMINEES 18th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards". The Latin Recording Academy. September 26, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  31. ^ Flores, Griselda (March 18, 2016). "Juanes, Marco Antonio Solis, Shakira & More Nominated for Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame". Billboard. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  32. ^ Cantor-Navas, Judy (March 20, 2018). "Who Are the 2018 Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame Nominees?". Billboard. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  33. ^ "Thalia, Alejandro Sanz, Paulina Rubio, Enrique Iglesias, Lupillo Rivera, Carlos Vives, Celia Cruz, Juanes and a Host of Hispanic Artists Compete for the Latin Music Awards, Premio Lo Nuestro". Univision. Business Wire. November 19, 2002. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  34. ^ "Nominados al Premio Lo Nuestro 2006". People. Time, Inc. December 12, 2005. Retrieved September 27, 2013.

External linksEdit