The Democratic candidiates are making their way to California this weekend for the state’s primary election (don’t forget to vote, raza!), so naturally they want to
pander speak to the majority of the state’s population: Latinos.
In July of 2014, Latinos edged out whites to become California’s largest group, accounting for roughly 38 percent of the state’s population, with 83 percent of those being of Mexican descent. About 8-in-10, or 82 percent, of Hispanic eligible voters in California is of Mexican origin, so it follows that La Hillary y El Bernardito would want to get their corrido on to get the word out about their platforms. Two righteous California bands stepped up to the task on behalf of, presumably, their chosen candidates. Actually, both bands say they are not part of the candidates’ campaigns and created the songs of their own accord.
Kudos to them for helping to get the vote out! Ahead, the videos for the songs and our humble analysis of them. You can discover a lot about a candidate by their ballad.
Para Bernie Sanders: “El Quemazón” ("The Bern" Corrido for Bernie Sanders)
Performed by: Grupo la Meta
From: Modesto, California
Literally everything you need to know about Bernie Sanders' voters is contained in this video by Modesto, California’s Grupo La Meta. They’re young, they’re male and they love to wear plaid. Next? Just kidding! First of all, I have to say that I prefer conjunto to almost any other musical form out there, and I’m pretty sure I would rather roll through the park with this song blasting out of my Hyundai than the one I’ll be reviewing next. What can I say, I like my music working-class? It’s a hallmark of the hipster bourgeoisie and, just like Sanders’ fans, this video has “legit working-class” all over it. Except, like Sanders, the authenticity is just not there. Sanders is not polling as well as Clinton with working-class voters of color in California, and even his adoptive, Cal-Mex band has a white dude in it. Also, the reason these guys wrote their song is indicative of the Sanders fanatics’ paranoid delusions: Grupo La Meta vocalist and composer Juve Quintana told teleSUR he wrote it because he felt that Sanders was not given enough exposure by the media. Hmm . . . I guess I dreamed all that coverage.
Para Hillary Clinton: “Arriba Con Hillary”
Performed by: Mariachi Aguilas de Oxnard
From: Oxnard, California
What is more badass than a charra leading a band of mariachis? Nothing, fam, nothing. This video from Mariachi Aguilas de Oxnard nails the woman power thing right out of the gate. Sure, it might look less cool than Sanders' balada, more like a political ad with its campaign signage and b-roll of Hillary Clinton walking through factories and shaking people’s hands. But that’s probably also the reason that older Latinos will respond to it. They can see themselves and the candidate in it. And you know what they say about older voters: They vote. One commentary I heard about this song as compared with the previous is that mariachis appeal more to middle-class Mexican Americans than conjunto music. I never thought of mariachi that way since, in the U.S., Mexican Americans are, like, never, ever portrayed as middle-class, but what’s wrong with aspiring to the middle-class? Isn’t that the American Dream? If more Mexican Americans made it to the middle class, I think that would be pretty chido.
Whichever way you vote next month, familia, just be sure to do it. California Latinos are the largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally, so get out and make your voices heard.