Since we began covering Álvaro Díaz’s ascent as one of Puerto Rico’s premier hip-hop acts, Díaz has accomplished a lot. With iLumiLatin Vol. 1, his follow up to Hato Rey, Díaz cemented his place as the voice of the emo yet also hyper-macho Tumblr rap kid on the island. In 2015, Díaz was also named the Best Latin Emcee at SXSW, started getting booked internationally, and began work on a streetwear line that he hopes will reflect his true style, instead of serving simply as artist merchandise.

We caught up with the rapper on the rise during a stop in Mexico City, to learn about the creative process behind crafting music that breaks the mold of what audiences expect Latin American rap to sound like.