Bataan Nitollano better known as Joe Bataan is a Filipino-African American Latin soul musician from New York and referred to be the “King of Latin Soul”. He grew up around Puerto Rican gangs and learned to play music while serving time in prison.
He is being credited as one of the innovators of SalSoul (Salsa and Latin Soul), Boogaloo, Latin Funk, Latin R&B and Latin Jazz during the 1960’s and 70’s and produced one of the very first rap and R&B albums in 1980.
In the late 1970’s, He recorded “Rap-O Clap-O.” It became an early hip-hop hit, it was appreciated in Europe where the song went top 10 and accredited as the first rap song to make it big in the country.
Then after his 1981 album, “Bataan II,” he retired from music-making to spend more time with his family and ended up working as a youth counselor in one of the reformatories he himself had spent time in as a teenager. In 2005, Bataan broke his long hiatus with the release of “Call My Name,” a well-received album recorded for Spain’s Vampisoul label.
His daughter, Asia Nitollano, won the television series Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll.
In the 2006 video game, Driver Parallel Lines, Joe Bataan’s song Subway Joe was included in the soundtrack.
In early 2009, Joe Bataan was featured in the Kenzo Digital-produced “beat cinematic” City of God’s Son. Bataan was featured as the narrator of the story, paying the part of an older Nas reflecting upon his youth in the street with cohorts Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah, Biggie and Raekwon.
Watch Joe Bataan “Rap-O Clap-O”