by MOLLY LAMBERT
This is a passion project that I started working on while making the Kenny Powers mixes. I was digging for Mexican rock stuff for Volume 5 of my Eastbound & Down mixtape series, and a lot of Mexican American rap kept coming up. I really wanted KP v. 5 to be primarily rock to match 3/4 of the other KP mixes, but I downloaded a ton of rap songs just in case I changed my mind. KP 5 did end up being mostly rock and some techno (Tribal Monterrey!) but I kept adding more things to the rap playlist.
I love rap, and I love microgenres, so naturally I love the microgenre that is Latina Rap. There's a really great radio show in LA called Pocos Pero Locos, and that's where I was first exposed to Latin Hip Hop. Now obviously every microgenre is gigantic, and this is by no means meant to be a definitive survey of Latina female rappers. At a certain point I stopped adding new songs (although I never stopped finding them) because I had been working on it for so long already and otherwise it might have been endless.
The songs I picked mostly fall under the heading of Girl Gangsta Rap, an even smaller genre within the genre. It reminds me at times of 60s girl groups, with which it shares themes like car culture, gang violence, sex, love and heartbreak. I also love it because it is essentially feminist. These artists are cool, tough, fully sexually realized, funny, sweet, sometimes achingly sad (Amanda Perez!), and occasionally dangerous killers.
And I like that a lot of sounds like it was recorded on home computers, because I like jankiness as a musical quality and I enjoy things that sound good on shitty car stereos. I love musicians who just have to make music, who have things inside that they just need to get out. They can't help but express themselves to us, and even when the delivery is not technically perfect the pure intensity of feeling still comes across.
It might come across even more because of the technical imperfections. Imperfectness is really a matter of subjective opinion. I don't want to overintellectualize it too much (too late) but as it gets warmer I hope you will listen to Firme Rojas in your whip/on your porch/in the park with a michelada and think fondly of your friend DJ FUCK YALL.
Regarding cultural appropriation: It is equally as far-fetched for me to personally identify with SoCal girl gangsters as it is for me to identify with Southern cock-rockers, and yet I identify equally strongly with both. I grew up in Los Angeles, where a lot of these artists are from, and I love West Coast Rap and West Coast funk style beats. The idea that you ever would/should only listen to music made by people whose cultural identity is exactly the same as yours is what keeps idiots assuming that a caucasian woman like myself would only listen to Joni Mitchell and Joanna Newsom and Robyn.
No real rapper only listens to rap. Big Boi and 2Pac love Kate Bush! Music is music. People who love music, like me, want to hear everything there is out there. There are no more "I listen to everything but rap and country" people left, because the mp3 economy and widely free access to all kinds of music has rendered that stance and all similar genre-excluding stances irrelevant. I was once limited by the amount of money I could spend on records, and now I am only limited by my patience, which is infinite.
dedicated to K-Swift and Magnolia Shorty
Naybahood Queen - JV
Love Confession - Miss Lady Pinks ft. Amanda Love
Take You To School - Miss Beautiful
I Just Wanna Fuck - Celocita
Ms. Sancha Live Dot Com - Ms. Sancha
Can't You See - Esa Wicked Chula
Classy Soldier - Classy Ladys Entertainment
Up In The Hood - Underground Maniatikas
Love Me Not - Lady Teardrop ft. Nene Baby
cursory web research suggests Ms. Sancha may be Diamonique's alter ego
Get It If You A Rida - Ms. Sancha
We Ride Like Soldiers - Doll E Girl & Lady Synful
We Stroll - Sleepy Loka
You Want Whores - Baby Wicked
Mexicana - Diamonique
Top Knotch Biatch - Miss Beautiful
Gettin Luchi - JV
Mas Vale Sola - Ms. Krazie & Sleepy Loka
Sorry For My Wrongs - Doll E Girl
Ride On My Enemies - Ms. Sancha
Snitch - Coketa
Te Quiero - Mz Gatiz
Dem Ladies - Mz Kasper
Most Hated - Davina
Why - Amanda Perez
You Never Mattered - Mz Krazie
Somebody Please - OG Traviesa
Oh How It Hurts - Baby Wicked
Nobody Can Love Me Like You - Coneja Loka
G String - JV
California Gangsters - Sleepy Loka