Entertainment

This All-Female Mariachi Group Won’t Let Trump And Threats Of Shootings Keep Them From Performing

A week after the El Paso, Texas shootings, there’s no denying that the Latino community at the border town and across the nation remains gripped by both grief, fear, and anger. Threats have been made against Wal-Marts across the country and at least one White Nationalist has traveled to El Paso to inspire further fear in migrants and Latinx folk. It only serves to further the trauma that El Paso natives are feeling and — in doing so — allows racists to win by compromising our way of life.

While it’s extremely understandable to give in to this fear, one group of mujeres are fighting to live on their own terms.

Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas, a 14 member, all-female mariachi band, has declared that they will continue to perform despite the increased hate aimed at Latinx folk.

Twitter / @CynthiaPompa

Despite their defiance, the group admits that they have felt vulnerable to attacks because of how visible the mariachi group is. Lilly Sanchez, the woman who has led the group since 2002, spoke with NBC NEWS about their situation.

“What is more Hispanic than wearing a mariachi outfit?” she asked. ”We certainly feel like we have a target on our back, but we still have to do our job, so we do our job.”

The mariachi group played for counter-protesters back in February when Donald Trump came to El Paso and held a rally for his border wall. During the El Paso Massacre memorial, another mariachi group named Puesta del Sol played a classic Juan Gabriel song; showing just how integrated mariachi is into the El Paso community.

Still, there’s no denying that their public personas draw a certain amount of attention that can expose them to violence and hate.

Twitter / @ChordsofPeace

The fear is still very real and it resulted in one member quitting the mariachi group after the attack in El Paso.

“It’s still fresh, it’s very fresh,” Sanchez admitted in the interview with NBC. “We still pass by that Walmart every single day, several times a day, so it’s a reminder that it just happened, and yeah, we’re feeling afraid, we’re feeling targeted after this.”

Like many El Paso citizens, members of Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas are finding it hard to return to normal life.

Twitter / @votolatino

Violinist for Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas, Karyme Perea, acknowledged to NBC NEWS that she finds it hard to leave her home following the attack. However, the musician says she draws strength from the people of El Paso and the fact that the man who attacked her community was an outsider. The alleged shooter is said to have driven eleven hours from the Dallas area to attack the border town.

“I also know that we still have to keep on going, and I trust the city,” Perea explained. “It was from someone on the outside. No one in the city would actually do that, and I put that trust back into the people and that’s what makes me go outside every single day.”

The band’s youngest member, high school student Regina Hernandez, has an extra layer of anxiety with school returning to session in the upcoming days. The guitarrón player shared her anxieties in the NBC NEWS interview.

“There’s times where I feel very nervous to even go to school because I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she admitted. “There’s times where we have to … go on with it, pretend like we’re still okay, we’re still strong enough to.”

Still, the group of strong mujeres know that they are a symbol of the Latinidad and need to be unified and reliable for their community.

Twitter / @BetoORourke

Members of Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas understand that they can’t allow fear to control them any longer than it already has. The people of El Paso need to be able to move on in their grief and in their lives. Only by living life to its fullest potential will survivors honor the 22 who are lost and condemn the man who tried to destroy their community.

“We’re not going to let him win and take away our security” Sanchez declared. “But if we stay home and we let this change our lives, his racism wins.”

Reactions to Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas stance have been supportive and have included expressions of pride.

Twitter / @JoseLagniton

As this tweet suggests, mariachi music is just as American as country, rock and roll, and pop music. To attack an institution like mariachi is to attack not only Mexico but also the Southwestern United States where it is so popular.

This tweet declares support for these women, who make beautiful music in both times of celebration and sorrow.

Twitter / @Czazman

There is nothing punishable about making music. Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas and other mariachi groups should be supported and celebrated for continuing to show up for the Latinidad during this hard time. We hope these mujeres and all El Paso citizens get the help and support they need so they can continue to make the music that moves our communities.

Eminem’s New Song ‘Unaccommodating’ Talks About The Bombing Of Ariana Grande’s Concert And People Are Offended

Entertainment

Eminem’s New Song ‘Unaccommodating’ Talks About The Bombing Of Ariana Grande’s Concert And People Are Offended

eminem / Instagram, arianagrande/ Instagram

Eminem’s new album has been getting a lot of backlash —granted, there’s no surprise there. But there’s one song in particular that has Ariana Grande fans fuming. It looks like the real Slim Shady referenced the 2017 bombing that took place during an Ariana Grande concert in one of his songs, and Arianators are not having it. 

Eminem’s new album, which dropped Friday, includes the track “Unaccommodating.”

The song contains the lyrics: “But I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game/Like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting.” Fans are steaming mad over the lyrics, which they say, make light of the Manchester Arena bombing. The 2017 terror attack killed 23 people, and happened during one of the “thank u, next” singer’s concerts.

To make things worse, the song samples an explosion sound effect, which many are calling disrespectful.

The 47-year-old raps the line against a backdrop of an explosion sound effect, and Twitter users were quick to express their disapproval. “Eminem really mocked the Manchester bombing on his new album? Does he not realize that kids and teenagers lost their lives that night?,” wrote one user. 

Others think he should stop making music altogether…

Real talk, Eminem is such a piece of trash for making a punchline out of the 22 people who died in the Manchester attack,” one person wrote on Twitter. 

The BBC reports that Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is among those who are unhappy with Eminem’s lyrics.

In a statement, the mayor further explained: “This is unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful to the families and all those affected.”

Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett died in the attack, also voiced her disapproval.

“Feels like he is piggybacking on the fame of Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber and says distasteful things about other celebrities,” she wrote on Twitter after being informed of the two songs on Friday, “Not clever. Totally pointless. And before all Eminem fans pounce on me, I am not interested and will not engage.”

Murray has campaigned for the introduction of Martyn’s Law, which would require venues to introduce more stringent security checks. She later deleted the tweet after receiving backlash.

“Unaccommodating” is a song off of Eminem’s new album, Music To Be Murdered by. 

Fans of the rapper have taken to social media to defend him, with some pointing out that the entirety of his album is actually about gun violence and mental health. Others reminded Eminem’s critics that the rapper helped raise money at the time of the Manchester attack in order to support the victims and their families.

Eminem previously pledged his support to victims of the bombing in 2017.

The rapper urged fans to donate money to families who had been affected.

This is not the first time the 47-year-old has referenced the attack in song.

In a 2018 freestyle, he rapped about a brainwashed suicide bomber “seeing Ariana Grande sing her last song of the evening/And as the audience from the damn concert is leaving/Detonates the device strapped to his abdominal region.”

In a contrast to the Manchester Arena lyric, the album’s lead single, Darkness, advocates tighter gun control laws in the US.

The song and video reference the 2017 Route 91 Harvest music festival shooting in Las Vegas, in which 58 people died, with Eminem playing the role of an isolated, mentally-disturbed character who plots a murderous rampage to gain notoriety. The video ends with a montage of news reports from recent mass shootings, captioned: “When will it end? When enough people care.”

Eminem then urges fans to register to vote in the upcoming US elections, writing: “Make your voice heard and help change gun laws in America”.

The video also links to a website with information and links to various anti-gun violence organisations including Everytown For Gun Safety, March For Our Lives and Sandy Hook Promise. It’s not the first time the rapper has addressed the issue. Performing at last year’s iHeartRadio music awards, he delivered a verse attacking the National Rifle Association’s hold over politicians, rapping: “They love their guns more than our children.”

The Super Bowl Just Hit The Latina Trifecta Thanks To This Big Announcement

Entertainment

The Super Bowl Just Hit The Latina Trifecta Thanks To This Big Announcement

ddlovato / Instagram, jlo /Instagram , shakira/ Instagram

Looks like the Super Bowl is officially going to be fire. Late last year it was announced that , Jennifer Lopez and Shakira would headline the halftime show. News of their duo performance sparked both delight and, in light of the NFL’s anti-Black Lives Matter stance, some controversy. Still, whether you love it or hate, the show will go on and Demi Lovato is now taking part.

On Thursday the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer announced that she will be performing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl LIV in Miami. 

In a post to her Instagram account, the singer shared an official photo and a caption that read, “Singing the National Anthem at #SBLIV See you in Miami @NFL.”

The announcement is proof that Latinas and Demi in particular are setting 2020 on fire.

After all, Lovato’s announcement comes just two days after she announced that she had accepted an invite to performat the 2020 Grammy Awards at the end of this month. The news sparked excitement amongst Lovato’s fans particularly because the singer hasn’t performed live since 2018 when she was hospitalized for a drug overdose. 

This year, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will also headline the halftime show.

Super Bowl LIV will be played on February 2. Fox will televise the game starting at 6:30 p.m. with kickoff shortly thereafter.

We don’t know who will face off in the 54th Super Bowl but we know who will be serving up delicious cuisine at Hard Rock Stadium the day of the big game and the big performance — a dominicana chef.

Chef Dayanny de la Cruz the Centerplate Executive Chef of the Hard Rock Stadium will be feeding guests with delicious sazón on Super Bowl Sunday. 

The woman responsible for coordinating the food experience for Super Bowl LIV is Dayanny de la Cruz. The mom of three is the executive chef of the Hard Rock Stadium. FIERCE recently spoke to Chef Dayanny about her beginnings, her connections with the world of food, breaking through the glass ceiling and what it’s like to design a menu that matches JLo and Shakira’s superstardom. 

Chef Dayanny was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and grew up in a home where everything happened around the kitchen table. It was the kind of childhood where her mother always insisted she eat before she play and she was able to run outside and pick ripe mangoes straight from surrounding trees. Chef Dayanny credits this early association with fresh foods and the warmth of a lively kitchen with her decision to enter the culinary world. 

She first went to school to get a degree in hospitality management from Universidad Central del Este in the Dominican Republic. It was here that she decided to move to the United States with her parents and pursue a career in culinary arts. After getting her degree in Grand Rapids, MI, the newbie chef accepted her first position in a kosher kitchen at the DoubleTree Hotel in Chicago — an experience that she says was one of the most difficult and rewarding of her career. 

It was during this time in Chicago that Chef Dayanny was exposed to the world of sports luxury entertainment. She quickly started building her resume with some of the most elite sports events in the US, such as the US open in New York, the Kentucky Derby and the NBA All-Stars. Chef Dayanny explained to FIERCE, the experience was a different challenge than what she was used to, but she was drawn to that difficult task.

Her experience eventually led her to Miami and the Hard Rock Stadium.

 As the executive chef, this means she would be in charge of the kitchen staff for each of these locations. Chef Dayanny also oversees the menus for each concession, kitchen and restaurant at the stadium, and ensures the quality of the food leaving the kitchen. Currently, the stadium has 7 kitchens, 167 suits, 7 all-inclusive clubs and 25 concession stands.

Among those responsibilities is a self-imposed rule that Chef Dayanny expects of her kitchens: to keep them extremely diverse. Listing Central America, South America, Africa and other countries as some of the sources of inspiration for the cuisine she serves, the chef explained to FIERCE that she not only includes her own Dominican flavors into her kitchens but she encourages the native flavors of her kitchen staff to be utilized as well. 

The road leading up to her high-profile career hasn’t been easy. Unfortunately, Chef Dayanna also experienced something many women — Latinas especially — experience coming up in her career.

Like in many industries, the culinary world is still very much a boys’ club. As such, women are given an especially difficult time when they enter the industry to gain experience. Sometimes the interactions are so traumatizing that women leave their industry completely to avoid facing more injustices. 

Chef Dayanny confirmed that as a Latina she bumped into the infamous glass ceiling several times before climbing up the ladder. However, it wasn’t her own struggle she was concerned about, but the struggle of the next generation of women. Acknowledging that we still have a ways to go in making strides in equality, Chef Dayanny explained, “If we are standing still, not moving forward, we aren’t clearing the way for the next generation.” 

As thrilled as she is about the upcoming Super Bowl, when asked how she feels knowing that she is somewhat responsible for feeding JLo and Shakira, Chef Dayanny left us with a reminder of what’s most important. 

Anyone who talks to Chef Dayanny can hear how much she loves to cook and how she adores food in general. So, to reach this point in her career where she receives this honor is obviously a big deal for her. In her interview with FIERCE, we hear in her voice how proud she is to land this role. While Chef Dayanny admitted she is excited about organizing the menus at the Super Bowl, for her, the real excitement comes when the party is over.