Mangu was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the Bronx, but he moved to Miami Beach to begin recording what he called fonquette, a Latin-based hip-hop style with some modern rap influences (including A Tribe Called Quest and KRS-One). His debut single, "La Playa," was produced by Joe Galdo and Cesar Sogbe; it featured the montuno piano-playing of Cuban Paquito Hechevarria. "La Playa" appeared in 1994, but Mangu didn't deliver his full-length debut until the spring of 1998, when Calle Luna Calle Sol was released by Island Records. ~ John Bush

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