Underground hip-hop emcee Woar2 is from Las Cruces but says he has found a home and following in the El Paso area.
The borderland, he adds, is a great platform for exposure.
“You know a lot of great bands like The Mars Volta and At the Drive-In got their start here,” said Woar2, whose real name is Luis Cisneros. “To get a following in El Paso is a big deal.”
The 33-year-old visual artist and rapper describes his musical genre as boom bap — 90s hip-hop style from the East Coast.
Cisneros makes his living selling his artwork and touring around the country, including the borderland.
He recently performed at the Back Nine Bar & Lounge in East El Paso, a show that was headlined by Layzie Bone of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
He will perform at the 4th Annual 2X2 Hip-Hop Festival in Columbus, Ohio, on July 28.
What are some of your musical influences?
As far as musical influences, I don’t like to talk about artists. I’m more about genres and obscure underground performers. I am really into many artists that came from the label Anticon.
What draws you to those artists?
Their music was more lyrical and it had a lot of topics that were just not on the radio. That was fresh because it was more political, something you would hear in college radio station, not the mainstream.
How do visual arts influence your music?
Anytime I’m doing art, I can just sit there for hours. I can do the same with music – I can mix and get lost. I treat my art like I treat my music. It’s my outlet, my escape.
How has El Paso shaped you as an artist?
I started doing shows in Cruces first, but when I came to El Paso, they pretty much embraced me. When I started doing my solo act, El Paso came out and recognized that my style was unique and something people were being pulled to. It is a style that welcomed a lot of fans.
Where do you see the hip-hop genre going in the future?
To be honest, I can see the genre mutating and evolving. I don’t know where it’s going to go, but it’s getting increasingly experimental. It’s going to evolve into some other monster, but hopefully it goes back to where it started like back in the day, you know, the 80s and early 90s.