Hip-hop music has become an important tool worldwide for poor, marginalized youth to reflect on their lived experiences. This article traces the genre's production from its spontaneous origins in the urban ghettos of New York to its commoditization for global consumption and its evolution in three different Latin American settings: Colombia, Cuba, and Mexico. The article explores how hip-hop has been appropriated in each country and has been used to express the performers' reflections on social, political, and economic problems. It also looks at the interplay between the homogenizing tendencies of global hip-hop and its local reception. © 2008 University of Miami.