Texas is ready for a Mexican-American rap breakout. How ready? As Snow tha Product’s insanely hype Sound on Sound Fest makeup show proved: hysterical screaming, delirious dancing, turned up to 11 ready.
Traditionally, hip-hop shows run dude-heavy, but there were a grip of young Latinas in the house for the rapper whose profile has been on the rise over the last several years.
She did not disappoint. Backed by a crew that included opening artists, AJ Hernz from San Antonio and Castro Escobar who hails from the Houston area alongside a dancing panda who almost died of heat exhaustion, she mixed razor sharp verses and club-friendly hooks into an intoxicating mess of sweaty exhilaration.
She was also down to earth and very real. She talked about how her time in Texas — she lived in Fort Worth for a couple years — shaped her as a rapper. Attending the South by Southwest music festival and seeing so many young and hungry talented rappers pushed her to sharpen her skills, she said.
She brought her mom onstage to do a shot as an introduction to “Ay Ay Ay.” The song’s hook, she explained, is based on the standard Mexican mom, head-shaking cry of exasperation. She talked directly to audience members, inviting them to hang out with her on Sixth Street after the show and apologizing directly to one woman for possibly smearing her shaded eyebrows with a spray of water. (“I don’t care who it is, mess up my eyebrows and I’ll fight you,” she said with a laugh.) Near the end of her set, she brought a mess of ladies onstage to twerk with her.
The vibe for the set was party turn up, but she also slid in savvy political messaging, largely centered around the need for real Latinx representation in the media in the Trump era.
“If you don’t understand that you can completely be conscious and woke and be aware but also be ratchet, you are stupid,” she said at one point.
As her star rises, she said, she’s been offered many collaborations, but right now, she’s primarily interested in working with like-minded Hispanic artists like Hernz and Escobar, “building a movement,” she said. Her songs liberally mix in cumbia rhythms and her new single “Nuestra Canción pt. 2” is entirely in Spanish.
Intro-ing the song at the end of her set she implored her audience to buy the track “whether you speak the language or not” to send a message to all the would-be-indifferent record execs that, in 2017, the hunger for new Latinx music is very real.
The packed house of rabid fans who spent her entire performance pressed to the front of the stage made that abundantly clear.
Though she repeatedly berated the club for not being loud enough (despite the fact that the speakers were cranking out body-rattling bass), her message came across loud and clear.