Cuban Link has had a great impact on hip-hop. He has released some of the most iconic songs as an individual artist and worked with some of the best artists in the business. He has also been a member of one of the most renowned groups on the East Coast and all over the United States and the world. Even though rap and hip-hop aficionados know all about Cuban Link, leaving the limelight has resulted in the younger generation not knowing all about him. This article’s raison d’etre brings to light what many people do not know about the rapper. Read on to find out ten then things you might not have known about Cuban Link.
1. Early life
According to Wikipedia, Cuban Link, whose real name is Felix Delgado, was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1974, and this is where he got his stage name. His parents and the rest of his family moved to the United States during the Mariel boatlift, so many Cubans fled from Cuba to the United States through the Mariel Harbor. The family settled in South Bronx, where Cuban Link and his siblings grew up.
2. Introduction to hip-hop
As he was growing up, Cuban’s love for hip-hop began to take hold. At the time, hip hop was becoming quite popular in the neighborhood, and more and more teens and young adults were becoming hip-hop artists of great acclaim from the area. Delgado decided that he, too, would get in on the act. He took the Cuban Link stage and formed a close association with other acts such as Big Pun and Triple Seis. The triad would form a group known as Full-A-Clips.
3. Beginning of his music career
Big Pun and Cuban Link appeared as guest features on The Beatnuts’ single called ‘Off the Books’ in 1997. This put them on the map and increased their popularity, especially in the New York Area.
As his stardom continued to grow, more and more artists wanted to work with Cuban. Ergo, he was featured in a myriad of tracks on different albums for different artists. The most famous features include Big Pun’s album Capital Punishment and Don Cartagena, which was Fat Joe’s debut album.
5. Record deal
Atlantic Records, who had also signed Big Pun and Fat Joe, signed Cuban Link. Atlantic provided him with an advance to work on his debut album, which was to be titled 24K. The three, as a result of their increasing popularity, later joined the rap group Terror Squad. After a short time together, the group released their debut album ‘Terror Group; The Album’. The album, which was a compilation of tracks by different members of the group, featured a track called ‘Tell Me What You Want, and it was performed by Cuban himself.
6. The death of Big Pun
Big Pun, an associate and close friend of Cuban Link, died due to a heart attack on the 7 of February 2000. His death greatly affected Cuban Link’s performance, which is one of the causes why Cuban later came to subsidize from the limelight. Soon after the death of Big Pun, Cuban released a track called ‘Flowers For The Dead’ in his friend’s honor. After the death of Big Pun, the relation between Cuban Link and Fat Joe became strained at best. This is because pun was of huge importance in the relationship between the two. Joe had been integral in brokering the record deal with Atlantic, and thus, as their personal relationship continued to deteriorate, so did their contractual relationship. All this lead to the album release date being pushed back many times, and there were even several leaked songs from the album, which again caused the album to be pushed back.
In April of 2001, Angie Martinez, a popular radio host, personality, and who was part and parcel of the hip hop scene in New York, hosted an album release party at Jimmy’s Bronx Café. Cuban got into an altercation at this said party, and his face got slashed as he was trying to break up a fight between Sunkiss and Fat Joe. This was the tipping point for the two individuals, Cuban and Fat Joe. At the time, Cuban had already departed from Terror Squad, and both Big Pun and Cuban had been replaced with Remy Ma and Tony Sunshine.
8. Leaving Atlantic
Cuban left Atlantic Records after releasing the mixtape ‘Broken Chains,’ which in many ways alluded to the relationship he had with Fat Joe. The mixtape was put together by DrenStarr & Roy P. Perez©. He would, later on, join the independent music label ‘Men of Business’ in 2005, according to All Music, and release the album Chain Reaction. The album contained several hit songs, including singles like Sugar Daddy, which featured Mya, and Scandalous, Don Omar.
The deal that Cuban Link inked with Men of Business was worth 2 million dollars. Even today that is still a lot of money. This was the largest independent dealer for a single album and an unsigned act. It was a joint venture with Universal Music Group, and Universal does own some rights to the album.
After releasing Chain Reaction, Cuban subsided from the limelight. It is as clear as day that the death of Big Pun had a huge effect on him and the relationships that he had with others. To date, he hasn’t released an album, mixtape, or work of art in general. That being said, Chain Reaction was a huge success, not only commercially but also critically. This is because it fused hip-hop with a bit of reggaeton, a combination that at the time was unheard of. However, due to this experimentation, the album contained many club bangers and radio hits, especially in New York and the surrounding East Coast.