When discussing the pioneering figures of what would eventually come to be known as Chicano Rap, there is perhaps no group more iconic and more revered than A Lighter Shade of Brown. Formed in Riverside, California, in 1990, when ODM (One Dope Mexican, born Robert Gutierrez) was introduced to DTTX (Don’t Try to Xerox, born Bobby Ramirez); the duo was part of an explosion of Latin Hip-Hop groups and artists to rise to prominence in the late 1980s and early-’90s; joining the likes of Mellow Man Ace, Kid Frost, Proper Dos, Aztec Tribe, Hi-C, Delinquent Habits, Fundoobiest, Psycho Realm & Cypress Hill among a cavalcade of others to rise prominence in the early part of the decade. Over the course of nine years, the duo released a string of five albums and provided songs for films such as Mi Vida Loca, Bulletproof and I Like It Like That and penning some of the most iconic songs in the Chicano Rap sub-genre. While the duo didn’t quite become household Hip-Hop names, or reach the level of mainstream success as some of their contemporaries; Lighter Shade of Brown was nonetheless a groundbreaking duo that not only helped break down barriers for Chicanos in Hip-Hop during the early 90s but Latino emcees of various backgrounds across the nation. Having paved the way and helped create an entirely new lane for modern Chicano rappers to follow Lighter Shade of Brown’s status and contributions to Hip-Hop are forever cemented in their music and their legacy; their music is still enjoyed by countless fans to this very day.
We had the chance to talk with ODM and discuss the origins of the group, the history behind some of their most iconic songs, the rise, decline, and resurgence of Lighter Shade of Brown, as well the days leading up to DTTX’s tragic passing in 2016. With that said, we are proud to present the twelfth episode of Step Off! Radio with ODM of Lighter Shade of Brown.
Featured below is our full interview with ODM available through our official SoundCloud page. Apple and Spotify users can listen and subscribe to the Step Off! Radio podcast through the official Apple podcast and Spotify app.