Jamaica rapper breaks the mold

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Jamaica author and rapper Robert Torrez — a.k.a. Sabor Latino — doesn’t write about the stereotypical fare of rap lyrics.

“Its about my observations as a social worker in a foster care agency,” he said of his recently released second book, “Mis grandes canciones y poemas” (“My great songs and poems”).

Torrez, of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent, released his first album “Observasio­nes de mi vida, Vol. 1” (“Observations from my life”) in 2013. Tapping into the album’s success, he followed up with an autobiography in 2014 entitled “My life: Sabor Latino,” which got worldwide distribution. In January 2016 Torrez released his single, “Anything in life is possible.”

With his latest book, Torrez continues to shun the materialism typical of the genre and focus on inspiring his fans.

“Many talk to me about cars and motorcycles,” he said. “They have a lot of money and bank accounts. Materialistic things don’t interest me, because I write my poems to motivate the kids.”

Torrez got his bachelor’s degree at Boriqua College in Education Psychology and recently received his master’s degree in Education. He said he tries to lead by example and uses his music and poetry to spread a positive message to the younger generation.

His autobiography consists of 10 chapters that talk about his life growing up and working in south Jamaica.

“It includes stuff from when I was younger,” he said. “The typical things teenagers go through, like getting in trouble, just life.”

Torrez’s new book, released earlier this year, features 24 poems also about his life experiences, including poems and songs about his brother and growing up in Puerto Rico.

“I touch a little on everything,” he said. “I even write about my love life.

Unlike his previous work, his latest book is written completely in Spanish, a feat Torrez is proud of.

“It was a big challenge,” he said. “It’s different to write in Spanish than to think it, the whole process took about a year, it was very fulfilling to be able to do it. I was always a writer, but when I decided to write this book, I wanted to take things to next level, so I wrote in Spanish mainly for the Latino community.”

Just a few weeks after his book release, Torrez is already planning his third book, set to be released in 2018. The book will consist of 125 quotes gathered from his life observations.

“What’s next for me, I’m not sure,” he said. “The main thing I wanted to do was release three publications — the first one was to get noticed, the second was to see if I’m serious about it. The third book should be out in early 2018. Maybe five chapters of words of inspiration and about appreciating life.”

Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

Updated 10:34 am, February 10, 2017
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