Roughly thirty-five blocks across the northern tip of Manhattan is Washington Heights, and it is here where the newest hub of creativity appears to be blooming.  I can tell by some of your bemused faces that you’ve not heard of The Heights, (not to be confused with the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights, based on the same vibrant neighborhood) so for those uninitiated allow me to introduce to you a growing community of artists making a name for themselves in the entertainment world — uptown style of course.

Juan Bago and O are a spoof comedy team composed of Michael Diaz and Oscar Martinez. The duo gained notoriety with their hilarious music video Pan Con Queso — a spoof based on rapper Wiz Khalifa’s 2010 smash hit Black and Yellow. The video has become such a viral sensation that it has climbed to a million-plus hits on youtube since its February 2011 premiere.

Not wanting to lose momentum, the boys have been actively working on creating a number of videos which have aired on MTV3, Mun 2 and Telemundo’s entertainment news program, Al Rojo Vivo. Their latest creation entitled Vivaporu is a spoof of Kanye West’s Theraflu . Synopsis: the focal point of the video is the famous over-the-counter topical ointment Vicks Vapor Rub, known to many as a typical home remedy, but within most Latin homes, it is the remedy. The parody of blind faith mixed with catchy hip-hop beats — truly comical genius!

Juan Bago and O – “Vivaporu” (Official Spoof of Kanye West’s Theraflu)

As of late, the dynamic duo have attracted such a following that they have been able to upgrade their sound.  By working with top music producers, their spoof Hooked on Hookah is a track with incredible sound quality and music production value — can anyone say Billboard bound? For more info on these two gentlemen and their production company, you can visit their website at Heights Entertainment.

Check out the audio/music video after the jump.

Juan Bago and O – “Hooked on Hookah” 

The Roaring Twenties were a time when everything from the arts to booze were flourishing — but had you been around back then, would you have had the nerve to film it?  This is the same pivotal question two brave filmmakers from Washington Heights have asked themselves and have decided to take action. Led Black, a writer for the Washington Heights community blog The Uptown Collective came across an intoxicating drink named Nutcracker for an article — actually it was his barber who filled him in. After further investigation he soon realized that this drink was more than what meets the eye. This potent yet fruity concoction had established quite the following in the Washington Heights area and yet it had been kept very hush-hush amongst its residents.

With curiosity piquing, Led teamed up with Jon Ullman, a fellow resident/filmmaker and have been shooting footage ever since. The working title for the documentary is Nutcracker Inc. and the purpose of the documentary is to focus on the drink’s origin and its rooted subculture in the community of Washington Heights.

However, making a documentary is a very costly task and so they have auctioned off merchandise with the Nutcracker Inc. logo to raise funds. They have also solicited the help of Indiegogo (a fundraising website) to cover production costs. They are still in the middle of production but have released a handful of teasers to boost funds. You can check out their official trailer and bonus clips after the jump. And, if you would like to make a purchase and/or donation, you can visit Nutcracker Inc. – Indiegogo.

— Roz Baron

Official Trailer:




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