Doble H en Mexico

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RAPERA´S DELIGHT: D.F. via Monterrey rapper Niña Dioz tears it down at the Spanish Cultural Center in Downtown Mexico City.

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.

  1. In the meanwhile, learn about political hip-hop in Mexico.
  2. The O.G. DJ you should try to hire if you want your expat friends to experience real hip-hop, Mexico-style.
  3. See why all the love for bumpers and rappers.
  4. Why it´s just a liiiiitle racist down here.
  5. Just who is that girl in the pic up there?
  6. Sometimes we don´t JUST write about rap. But maybe “we” should.

SWINE ON MY MIND 4: Calm before the storm? **UPDATES

THIRSTY?: A couple shares a fruit juice at the Sunday market in Colonia Del Valle in Mexico City. The Mexican government ordered bars and clubs closed for the next 10 days.
THIRSTY?: A couple shares a fruit juice at the Sunday market in Colonia Del Valle in Mexico City. The Mexican government ordered bars and clubs closed for the next 10 days.

Worldwide financial markets are already starting to take a beating in this, the first official week following the swine flu crisis here in Mexico City.
Alas, the drug companie$ have little to worry about. Ka-ching.
Besides all the bars and clubs and sporting events shuttering over the weekend, one of the major letdowns was the cancellation of 60 lucha libre matches.
I really hope this virus gets under control for next week’s 3rd annual wrestling convention, called Lucha Libre: La Experiencia, which is a mix of informative panel discussions on wrestling as well as music and entertainment. It’s scheduled to run May 1-3 at Centro Banamex here in D.F.
On another note, this mask wearing is getting out of hand. Most people, I mean, like more than half walking around on the street don’t wear them. If things get worse, health-wise, then wearing a mask is going to have to be an ordinary fashion accessory for a while.

With total deaths at 103 so far 149, as long at the numbers don’t shoot up exponentially, we should be alright. Then again, it might just be the calm before the storm, and then, you know. Be safe. Wash your hands.

UPDATE:

  • Seriously feeling an EARTHQUAKE right now in Colonia Roma @ 11:49 central time [ CNN Just confirmed, it hit at 11:45am]. US geological survey is calling it a 6.0 quake, check it details, here.
  • CDC says don’t go to Mexico if you don’t have to
  • Mexico health minister says 149 confirmed dead due to flu-like symptoms 20 22 of those deaths confirmed due to swine flu, the city currently has 2,372 cases of people with flu-like symptoms [all numbers from the Milenio news channel]
  • New York City confirms 20 more cases
  • Wow. I guess it really could be…….

    R.E.M-End of the World as We know it (and I feel fine)

    Check out some more pathogen-related music:

    Pharell co-signed Washington Heights rapper's newest mixtape.
    Pharell co-signed Washington Heights rapper's newest mixtape.

    Listen to The Plague.

    More after the jump.

    Continue reading “SWINE ON MY MIND 4: Calm before the storm? **UPDATES”

    SWINE ON MY MIND

    COVER YOUR MOUTH:   A couple walks down a block in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City.  There was high demand for surgical masks in the wake of a a deadly strain of swine flu that's infected over 1,000 people.
    COVER YOUR MOUTH: A couple walks down a block in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City. There was high demand for surgical masks in the wake of a a deadly strain of swine flu that's infected over 1,000 people.

    The swine flu has many people shook out here in the city of 20-million. Some are expecting an end-of-the-world scenario in Mexico City. The CDC is keeping an extra close eye on the situation, just in case reality starts to resemble a weak made-for-cable movie.

    But honestly, the air quality is often so bad, people rock the blue surgery masks anyway.

    I’d imagine more people around the country are paying closer attention, now that some kids in Queens came down with what looks like the swine flu. I mean, I wasn’t really tripping until I read this in the Daily Kos. Scary stuff. You know some drug companies are going to get fat off this wave of panic and sickness.

    Continue reading “SWINE ON MY MIND”

    At the Movies: Illegal Immigration and Los Tigres del Norte

    "EL NORTE": Zaide Silvia Gutierrez in a scene from Gregory Nava's 1983 movie.
    "EL NORTE": Zaide Silvia Gutierrez in a scene from Gregory Nava's 1983 movie.

    “The flood of Hispanic immigrants into American communities for work helped provide cover for traffickers looking to expand into new markets. Shelby has long been Alabama’s fastest-growing county, and the number of Hispanics grew 126 percent from 2000 to 2007.”

    Hispanic“? You gotta love that all-inclusive word.

    The quoted passage at the beginning of this post is taken from an alarmist piece that ran in the Associated Press recently, detailing a quintuple homicide in Alabama that authorities have been investigating since August 2008. Officials are pointing fingers at the Gulf Cartel.

    As most of you already know, President Obama was recently in town to talk drugs and the border. With so much on his plate already, illegal immigration and the problems along the Mexico/U.S. border are just pieces of the puzzle millions are looking at him to solve. Good luck, my dude.

    Continue reading “At the Movies: Illegal Immigration and Los Tigres del Norte”

    Way, way south of Slauson

    Just for contextual purposes, a majority of what I’m writing derives from this part of the world. With the occasional California rapper piece thrown in for good measure (Next on my list is Spice 1…Dr. Bomb from the Bay)

    accessmaps.com
    accessmaps.com

    I think my one claim to fame as a hip-hop fan is meeting Big L in E-town back in the mid 90s and attending the first ever (of the now defunct) Source Awards. The mission I gave myself during my time out here in the D.F. (think D.C. but with hardly any of the folks that gave it the name Chocolate City) is to look, however deeply underground–or even on basic television– for signs that hip-hop culture is alive and flourishing in Mexico.

    Continue reading “Way, way south of Slauson”