From the renowned muralist culture, to even farther back to its ancient civilizations, communicating through art on walls has always been the way here.
Today, with the support of a paint company and local government agencies, what is essentially a free hip-hop festival will take over Mexico´s main soccer stadium. A place were people go to worship futbol, for the 3rd year in a row, becomes a place for hip-hop´s faithful.
I went in 2009, and the event was regarded as too commercial by many graf heads. But, it´s one of the rare times in this megalopolis that lovers of rap music get a free open-air concert. ¨Wild Style¨ incarnate, here in Mexico City.
Below, Jezzy P , a rapper from Ecatepec who just dropped a new album (she´s been putting years of work into her music) will be a featured rapper on Saturday afternoon. About two dozen rappers will perform over the weekend, while graf artists are competing on the walls of the stadium.
EVA.EME: Not a backpack-underground-rapper. She reps Cuernavaca.
I didn’t want to edit this video too much, I wanted you to see the off-the-cuff Eva.Eme (pronounced Eva Punto Eme).
In Mexico, these days, it seems like everyone raps.
Over the summer I had a chance to meet 21-year-old MC Eva.Eme in her home town of Cuernavaca, Morelos. That of course is a written rhyme in the video above, but what I’m impressed with more about her is her love for the music and its energy. She sacrifices a lot, and given shady biz in the industry, people who rap on stage almost always do it for the love and not the bread, because you just don’t cake like that. Check out her group.
At this point in her career, she’s working a day job, trying to play clubs on weekends, and to my surprise has to suffer abuse from her mother just to go rock a mic. Eva showed me a scar on her wrist from her mother wilding out on her for coming home too late after a show. Drama. But that’s the life of an early 20s Mexican girl/rapper.
I’ll have a more thorough profile written for you later. I just wanted to get this video online for people to see. And yes, fans, hip-hop is alive and well in Mexico…but like anything, it needs a little work. If Eva keeps working on her bars, no telling where she might take her rhyming skills.
Listen to Eva:
Go here, and scroll down to stream 2 tracks by Eva.Eme.
I just read a post over at the always interesting Mija Chronicles regarding hip-hop culture in Mexico, or maybe its lack thereof. A topic I´ve been focusing on for almost half a year.
Let me first say that the Mija is a friend of mine, so in no way am I trying to clown her, but when I read these graphs:
I haven’t read a whole lot about why hip-hop isn’t big here, but I wonder if it has to do with the fact that in Mexico, there seems to be a culture of quiet acceptance when things go wrong. Politicians stealing again? Sigh, shake of the head. Yep, that’s what they always do. No water? Yeah, but that’s just the way it is. The general notion seems to be to keep your head down, and make sure your family is fed. Not strike back at The Man through politically aware lyrics.
That still doesn’t answer the question about why American hip-hop culture hasn’t seeped in more. Mexicans have embraced plenty of other aspects of American culture — fast food, sneaker boutiques, Wal-Mart.
I was like oh, boy (rubbed my hands together like a plotting mad professor) gotta get to back to blogging.
Before I continue, let me just give you a little context:
See, back in 2005, ya boy was sitting in the dungeons of a newspaper (clocking decent loot), wondering to himself: How can I get the heck out of here? And it dawned on me…write. So I wrote. And I wrote about hip-hop, because, frankly I listened to enough 89 Tech 9, been to enough Rock Steady Crew reunions, the Apollo, Summer Jams, you name it to know more about this music and culture than, perhaps, your average person who writes for a newspaper. At least that´s been my experience.
That said, I thank every reporter who didn´t realize Snoop dropped the Doggy Dog years ago, didn´t know Ceelo Green had a career before Dangermouse, doesn´t know who Paul Wall is, can´t tell me which rapper sampled in the opening of Biggie´s “Ten Crack Commandments”, or tell me what sippin syrup refers to. Thank you oh peddlers of popular culture. Thank you, you helped me find my way.
Back to Mija´s blog.
Hip-hop culture vs. rap music…yes, it´s more clear cut than the “I´m Black” vs. “I´m African-American” debate.
The Mexican embrace … of sneaker boutiques is totally hip-hop culture. So, if we just look at that BAM! we got hip-hop culture in plain view. Other than that..commercial radio out here is more apt to play Zoe than Jay-Z, but if you blast ” Big Pimpin ,” most Mexicans in their 20s will start bobbing their head to this familiar jam.
I won´t get into it all right now, because I´d like to give this all more thought. And more posts, dig.
There´s a lot of evidence that hip-hop culture is as part of the mainstream fabric of Mexican society as anywhere. Now, the economics here are different, so you don´t see hip-hop pushed into people´s faces like you do in the States. I don´t know, maybe it´s the lack of suburban white people in Mexico that keeps hip-hop at a more humble existence here. But it´s here. And don´t worry, I lace you with the knowledge. I´ve got some adventures to post about, female emcees, and the rest. Stay tuned.