Chingo Bling speaks to the UT community about his experience as a Mexican Rapper.
“I just want to be fully triumphant,” says Mexican rapper Chingo Bling in his lecture Friday. His discussion added meaning and value to his work. He gave the audience personal and insightful information that really changed my perception about him and his music. Overall, the artist helped me understand the obstacles and opportunities he has encountered, not only as an underground Mexican rapper, but also a rapper from the south. In addition, the lecture served as a reminder that Mexicans should be proud of their roots and become advocates for their community. This was achieved in three ways: 1.) He described the origin of his name, 2.) He gave his reasoning for his aesthetic appearance as a “rancholo,” and making references to “tamales” and “taco trucks” in his lyrics, 3.) He explained the thought process behind his campaign “They can’t deport us all,” it’s execution, success, and backlash.
When asked “Why did you adopt the name ‘Chingo Bling’ the Mexican artist responded: “because it’s a juxtaposition.” He took two terminologies that described him as a Mexican (Chingo) Rapper (Bling) despite the lack of parallelism between the two. He knew that he would not be taken seriously and he was set up to fail before he even started. He wasn’t a drug dealer or a gangster from the streets, which set him apart from many of the underground rappers from Houston. Thus, the name was an “irony” as stated by Chingo because he was seen as a joke and to add on to the humor he chose to add two terms with dramatic contrasts. As a result, his tactic got people talking about him and eventually his work.
“Rancholo,” “Versace Mariachi,” are terms many have used to label Chingo Bling’s aesthetic appearance of an “urban ranchero.” When asked why he dressed this way Chingos response alluded to his Mexican pride, but love for the hip-hop scene. Similarly, when asked why he constantly referred to tamales and taco trucks in his music his response went back to the respect and honor he carries for his Mexican roots. He feels that the association made between Mexicans and taco trucks is a relationship that needs promotion because it is a representation of Mexicans as hard workers. Additionally, these symbols contest the stereotype of “the lazy Mexican” because any Mexican knows the hard work that goes into running a taco stand and making tamales.
“They can’t deport us all” was the title of Chingo’s most successful albums and perhaps the one that received the most criticism. When he first introduced the title to his record label and distributors there was some skepticism as to the success of sales. However, they decided to pursue the idea and make the album about activism and awareness, rather than sales. The tagline received a lot of backlash from anti-immigrant citizens. “I wanted to put it in [their] face” says Chingo referring to the critics who were writing him hate mail, calling him the anti-Christ, and trying to take legal action against him.
When asked who his primary target for this campaign was Chingo admitted the message was intended for all demographics, female/male, younger/older audiences willing to listen. I would argue that his biggest support comes from the young Latino population. When he is producing music, Chingo says he is mindful of the type of media his listeners use. Car stereos and iPods are all popular media that transmit his music and he made references to during his talk. The biggest consumers of the aforementioned media are young adults and the content of his music resonates best with Latinos. Additionally, many of the experiences Chingo sings about are applicable to this segment.
Before the lecture I just thought Chingo Bling was a crazy Mexican rapper who didn’t know that gold chains and diamond grills did not compliment cowboy hats and ostrich boots. I was a fan of his work because his music spoke the truth, but I thought his appearance was a joke and found it somewhat offensive. After hearing the obstacles he has overcome, I can honestly say I admire him for taking the risk and putting Mexicans in the rap scene. I respect him and honor the pride he has for his roots. I look forward to sharing his story with those who question his credibility as a rapper, and disprove critics who think he doesn’t have a purpose. He has a purpose and it is to be “fully triumphant” in advocating for Mexicans through music.
To read more about Chingo Bling's campaing click the link below: