Culture

In Honor Of LA Declaring Nov. 10 Morrissey Day, Here’s Why Mexicans Love Moz So Damn Much

Yesterday, Los Angeles celebrated Morrissey Day.

CREDIT: Credit: Dominique Houcmant / Goldo / Flickr

“Los Angeles embraces individuality, compassion, and creativity, and Morrissey expresses those values in a way that moves Angelenos of all ages,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “Morrissey Day celebrates an artist whose music has captivated and inspired generations of people who may not always fit in — because they were born to stand out.”

Scholars, writers, cultural anthropologists, sociologists and generally curios people have attempted to find the origins and reasoning behind the connection between Latinos and Morrissey. They have yet to find a concrete answer, and it is likely that there isn’t one. There’s a very good chance there’s not a singular moment that served as the catalyst for that connection, but rather an overall collection of happenings and cultural shifts that have built this diehard following. That includes the influence of rock and roll on 1950’s pachucos and greasers assimilating to American life.

However, Moz, as he’s lovingly referred to, has his thoughts on the deep love between he and his Latino fans.

“Latinos are full of emotion, and whether its laughter or tears, they are ready to explode, and they want to share their emotion, and they want to give, and show, and show,” he once said in an interview. “I think that’s the connection because when I sing, it’s very expressive.”

Mexicans stand tightly together, heavily tattooed and full of heart, loudly singing along with Moz whether at a concert or in our bedrooms. It’s how we sing mariachi and rancheras with our families and friends.

CREDIT: Credit: mozzeriansaroundtheworld.tumblr.com

His songs are just as much our rancheras as anything by Vicente Fernandez, despite him being a pale British bloke from gloomy England. Both Chente and Moz express the anguish and awkwardness of loss, pain, love and desperation. Latinos are a people who feel and feel big, and The Smiths and Morrissey was another outlet to express our emotions. Particularly if we were outsiders, disappointing our parents with our weird clothes and weirder music.

We bring him flowers and cards, and express our concern when we know he is ill. It’s what we do for our family and friends who are hurting. We create bands in his honor, like the band Sweet and Tender Hooligans or Mexrissey, which does Spanish versions of Smiths/Morrissey songs and incorporates a Mexican sound. Think trumpets. The day Morrissey dies, I’m positive the Mexican flag will wave at half-staff and millions of pompadoured men and cat-eyed women will weep and light candles and play “I Know It’s Over.”

Morrissey is undoubtedly the patron saint of the sweet and tender Mexican. The Mexican who loves their culture –  its music, its language, its passion, its art, its high regard for love and family –  but also rejects its glorification of hyper-masculinity and antiquated gender norms.

CREDIT: Credit: Mark Oshiro / Flickr

The Mexican who cares about animals and sees the indignity in inequality. The Mexican who seems too soft to their parents and grandparents. That is, until the tequila flows. Then we’re all crying together.

There is a strong undercurrent of anglophilia in Mexican alternative culture. In the past I’ve written about Tijuana’s mod scene and attempted to understand how a subculture that grew as a direct response to post-war Britain had struck a chord with a group of Mexicans thousands of miles away from the foggy UK and who continue to keep the faith to this very day. The same curious connection exists with Morrissey and The Smiths.

Concurrently, my teens and early twenties were made up of countless nights dancing among shaggy-haired Mexicans to Blur, Pulp and, of course, The Smiths in a tiny Tijuana bar called Porky’s. The dance floor filled with screams of excitement when “This Charming Man” came on. The Mexicans that make up these subcultures are mostly working class and dealing with similar identity struggles British working class youth have encountered. There’s a shared experience there that seems to be more meaningful to the Mexican side, who have long adopted the style and sounds of British rock musicians. I’ve yet to meet any British people jamming out to Juan Gabriel or even Soda Stereo.

Morrissey, however, embraces his Mexican following and has adopted the culture to a certain extent. Some even call him an honorary Mexican. “I wish I was born Mexican,” he once told a crowd of Las Vegas concertgoers. He wrote a love letter to Mexico with the song “Mexico,” and gave a nod to his fans with “First of the Gang to Die,” about a Los Angeles gangster named Hector who meets his untimely end from a bullet in his gullet. 

When he sang about the dichotomy between his Irish blood and an English heart, and I could relate as a Mexican-American living life on both sides of a wall. The music of The Smiths and Morrissey often gave me the words I couldn’t form as an angsty young woman carving an identity for myself. Morrissey helped me sing my life, and he’s had the same effect on millions of other Mexicans. So much so that we tacitly forgive him as he devolves further and further into a blithering uncle with a penchant for arrogant shit talk and offensiveness.

Like when he said, “I really like Mexican people. I find them so terribly nice. And they have fantastic hair, and fantastic skin, and usually really good teeth.” He also blamed the near extinction of rhinos on Beyonce, and okayed the use of beloved black writer and cultural critic James Baldwin’s image on a t-shirt that included the lyrics “I wear black on the outside / ‘Cause black is how I feel on the inside,” from The Smiths’ song “Unloveable.” And then his views on immigrants are just…no.

He makes it very hard to love him sometimes, and yet we do. Perhaps because we’ve taken him on as our own.

I couldn’t tell you the first time I heard The Smiths or Morrissey, but as a first-generation Mexican woman who was raised on both sides of the border, Morrissey’s presence in my life has been as prevalent as my mother’s incessant yelling, my father’s rancheras and the deep conflicts that occur when you navigate a life of division.

The border I crossed every day was a too-obvious metaphor for the split in my being, and Morrissey’s melancholy voice and lyrics provided the soundtrack to my coming-of-age, mirroring my own vulnerabilities, anger, humor, heartbreaks, fears and passions. Those passions are shared by Mexicans and other Latinos alike.


READ: 7 Morrissey Covers That’ll Make Every Day Feel Like Sunday

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Zariah And Ugly Primo Want To Make Sure That You Get Out There And Vote For Our Community

Things That Matter

Zariah And Ugly Primo Want To Make Sure That You Get Out There And Vote For Our Community

Weiden + Kennedy / YouTube

There is a lot at stake in the upcoming elections. Organizations representing so many communities have come forward to fight for civil rights. Artists are also getting involved to make sure that their fans and and communities get out the vote and make the world the way they want to see it.

Zairah and Ugly Primo teamed up to tell their fans to get out and vote.

“Mueve El Pom Pom” is an anthem to all of the people out there who need to be mobilized to go vote. Ugly Primo and Zairah teamed up to create a visual piece of art that highlights the importance of getting out the vote in a very important election.

The animated music video makes the case for the need to get out the vote. Zairah and Ugly Primo highlight the crises facing the American public from affordable healthcare to an immigration system that needs to be reformed to the Trump administration’s continued attacks on public education.

The video is really pushing for people to get their pom poms to the polls.

Images of protest signs we have seen throughout Trump’s administration make an appearance. Black Lives Matter and pro-women signs appear in both English and Spanish to highlight the need for all communities to come together.

The visuals, done by the one and only Ugly Primo, drive home the importance of our community voting as a bloc to create the kind of society we want to live in. It is also encouraging people to go out and vote and to vote any way that they can.

The video is calling on the Latino community to come together and vote to save our democracy.

There is a lot of concern about the fate of democracy in the U.S. The Trump administration has bulldozed over political norms and made comments contrary to our democracy. The latest example of President Trump threatening American democracy is him saying he isn’t sure if he will accept the results of the election. This simple and peaceful transition of power is what democracies are built on. President Trump has not signaled that he will be willing to peacefully accept the election results.

READ: Voting Rights Activists Are Sounding The Alarm Of Latin Voter Suppression In Texas

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A Rumored Cardi B & Nicki Minaj Collab Has Fans Going Crazy

Entertainment

A Rumored Cardi B & Nicki Minaj Collab Has Fans Going Crazy

Photos: Getty Images

The internet is abuzz with rumors of a potential new collaboration between Cardi B and, wait for it….Nicki Minaj.

Hot New Hip Hope broke the news first, claiming that the unconfirmed collaboration between Cardi B and Nicki Minaj would be called “Lavish”.

Cardi B herself was the first one to stoke rumors of a potential collaboration between her and Nicki. Last Thursday, she tweeted out a cryptic message, saying: “Since ya mad ..imma give ya something mad to be about…This next single and coll- ….Gonna have ya sick ….since ya here.”

But the news between a Nicki and Cardi collab went mainstream after Hot New Hip Hop claimed that a snippet of “Lavish” was leaked on the internet and quickly scrubbed from existence.

According to the music outlet, a page for “Lavish” was also created on the music archiving website Genius.

But even that page was quickly taken down. So, either someone is playing an elaborate prank, or there is indeed a cover-up afoot.

As background, Cardi B and Nicki Minaj have had a veritable blood feud for years now. Although they were both publicly supportive of each other at the beginning of Cardi’s career, rumors and tensions escalated between them. The beef was largely based off of the underlying media narrative that there could only be one superstar female rapper in the game.

Their feud then famously culminated in a very public altercation at New York Fashion Week in 2018.

It was then that Cardi allegedly threw a shoe at Nicki. Since then, the two have never had anything positive to say about one another.

It’s possible that the two mega-stars have decided to bury the hatchet and move on with their lives. If one thing’s for sure, a Nicki Minaj and Cardi B collab would definitely be a lucrative project. And there’s nothing Cardi loves more than checks!

Shortly after these rumors went public, both of the powerhouse rappers started trending on Twitter.

Both the Bardi Gang and the Barbz are going crazy about what this news could possibly mean.

Fans were divided on whether to be excited about the news…

There are no words to accurately describe how groundbreaking this collab would be.

Or betrayed.

Some stans just don’t want to forgive and forget.

Some were just holding onto hope that the rumors were true.

It would be nice to see these two powerful women come together to celebrate their similarities rather than be divided by drama.

Naturally, a lot of fans were skeptical.

After all, the collaboration still isn’t confirmed and all of these reports are just based off speculation, rumors, and that one cryptic tweet.

We guess we’ll just have to stay tuned to see what happens! Whatever the outcome, we’re always excited to hear new music from Cardi B.

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