Mexia Releases "Descontrol"
A rowdy club banger that bridges Latin pop, hip-hop, and electro that will bring a sweat to your brow and a sway to your hips
Published on LatinoLA: September 28, 2009
To say there are two sides of Mexia would be just part of the story. There's Mexia, a.k.a. the "Mexican Messiah," a Latin hip-hop artist spitting nimble rhymes in Spanish, English, and Spanglish over electro- tinged beats. There's Mexia, the cipher-tested skateboard kid from San Jose, California's predominantly chicano East Side who cut his teeth in MC battles. There's also Mexia - government name Hern?ín Hern?índez Jr. - who grew up watching his father and uncles perform in norte??o's Grammy-stacking version of the Rolling Stones, Los Tigres Del Norte.
Now the past and present is meshing for an exciting future as the younger Hern?índez emerges from behind his father's enormous shadow. In the video for his first single "Descontrol," Mexia commands the party behind designer shades as vixens undulate around him. "Descontrol" is one of those up-tempo, wildin' out cuts that make club security and high school principals nervous with its demand to "muevelolo," emphasis on the latter "lo." Produced by acclaimed studio technicians the Iklectix, "Descontrol" is a rowdy club banger that bridges Latin pop, hip-hop, and electro that will bring a sweat to your brow and a sway to your hips.
It would have been easy for Mexia to carry on the family tradition, singing beloved corridos. Norte??o music is in his blood. He witnessed Los Tigres from multiple angles. He first saw his dad and uncles transfix a crowd of 1000 at age 5. He sat at the side of the stage and bore witness to the love bestowed upon Los Tigres and was intimately familiar with the sweat that inspired that love (yes, he sometimes did their laundry).
"I learned hard work and dedication from my father," Mexia says. "There were always people coming in and out of my house. They would practice in the garage. I remember long nights where everybody's singing. That was the epicenter where I learned how to socialize and love music."
Yet, each generation discovers its own voice and vessel and for Mexia, that was hip-hop. He was an avid break-dancer, MC, and graffiti writer. He and his cousin, a DJ, would obsess over the latest 12" singles from EPMD or A Tribe Called Quest. Curiosity taking over, a 15-year-old Mexia would goof around in the Tigres' rehearsal studio, making drum loops and spitting rhymes. Soon, Mexia was hooking up with like-minded MCs and DJs, slanging CDs outside of malls, sneaking into clubs, and jumping into freestyle ciphers.
It was also a tough home life with dad on tour for most of the year. A self-described "mama's boy," a teenaged Mexia ran into trouble with the law, spending six weeks in jail on a graffiti charge (tag: APEAL), and missing the birth of his son by a week. He then vowed to be a better father and straighten himself out using the curative powers of music.
Mexia headed to the studio and crafted a repertoire of lyrically intricate tunes that speak to his wide-ranging, street-centric experiences. "Acuerdate" is a laid-back shout-out to his multicultural upbringing, namedropping "Soul Train" and "Siempre en Domingo" in the same line. "Los Tortilleros" is a multilingual salute to the DJs spinning "tortillas," or records. "El Architecto" is a finely seasoned slice of center cut braggadocio. Mexia is rapping circles around all of the prissy muchachos bonitos currently ensconced in the Top 40.
There's a depth and versatility to Mexia. Growing up immersed in traditional sounds allows him to cut a track like "Kumbia Slump," a futuristic take on the Colombian musical style that's all the rage around the world. Most mind-blowing is "Adrenalina," a screamo collaboration with metal band Modern Ruinz that gets skateboard kids starting up swirl pits. Wassup Rockers, indeed!
Hold up. Screamo metal, cumbia, underground hip-hop and a killer dance pedigree? Where will Mexia fit in? He's not concerned. Mexia's introduction to music began before his birth. It was the sound of bleating corridos seeping into his mother's womb as the future son of a famous norte??o musician. Upon entry, it was hip-hop that rocked his world. Now Mexia is combining the contemporary and traditional worlds to form his own unique galaxy in Latin hip-hop.
"I'm concerned with breaking new ground, making people think, making the industry think, making the world think what music is," he says. "I love what I'm doing. I'm trying to appeal to the masses and still keep my essence."