Mare Advertencia Lirika’s Rap Game Is An Ode To Social Resistance
In Oaxaca, Mexico the hip-hop scene is dominated by men. Influenced by early ’90s American rap artists, most lyrics are misogynistic; a commonality in past and present wrap.
As a feminist uprising fuels the country, female rappers like Mare Advertencia Lirika utilize the depth hip-hop activism can have on social justice.
Growing up listening to banda, Lirika became exposed to American hip-hop when she was 12.
Although a fan, her language barrier impacted her resonance with the genre. After hearing Mexican rap groups like Caballeros de Plan G and Vieja Guardia, her spark for rap reignited.
“The history of rap is a mix of so many things that it gives room for anyone to fit into it,” she told Refinery29.
At 16, her rap career took off.
Under a machismo culture where women are often told ‘calladita te ves más bonita,’ Lirika defies outdated standards.
In her latest feminist anthem “Que Mujer,” she encourages women to rise up against patriarchal rhetorics.
With passion and prowess, her bona fide representation of class and gender struggles echo marginalized communities disenfranchised by systems of power.
Femicide rates in Mexico are rampant, having doubled in the last five years. On average 10 women are killed every day, but due to unreliable data and systematic impunity, many cases go under-investigated.
Oaxaca is a hot spot for violence, a reality Lirika knows too well. When she was five, her father was murdered resulting in the circumstantial feminist upbringing that fueled her vocality. Raised by her mother, grandmother and aunts, witnessing women take charge in making tough decisions helped to normalize her outspokenness.
Her feminist upbringing made her the strong woman she is today.
Identifying as Zapotec, an indigenous community native to Oaxaca, Lirika’s potent lyrics pay homage to her matriarchal upbringing and social resistance.
In “¿Y Tú Qué Esperas?” Lirika’s hearty alto sound shines as she asks that women speak and live their truth.
In songs like “Se Busca” she renders a poignant message demanding the return of those who have been kidnapped. Her visuals further amplify the severity of the issue as she raps, “cada persona que no está es un ausencia que no sana.”
Unafraid of confrontation, her cutthroat verses and poeticism are visceral.
Listening to her beats feel reminiscent of old-school rap, making it almost impossible to not nod along to her intellectual wit. Fusing the melodies of cumbias and reggae among others, she spits bars that sound the alarm of revolution.
But hostility towards women in the Oaxaca rap scene still lingers.
“Most people still think that women aren’t compatible with rap and think that we are wasting our time,” she told The New York Times in 2018. “We have to continue to show up at shows because it gives us confidence to see other women rap and to show people that we can also do this.”
Perhaps one of the best known Oaxaca rappers Lirika, 34, has established herself as a prominent figure in the genre. But her call to action is just beginning.
“My life context has taught me that I can use my voice,” she told Refinery29. “And maybe that’s a privilege of mine, one I shouldn’t have, but I trust very much what I have to say. I don’t fear what I have to say.”
READ: Latinas Talk About Learning Of The Heartbreaking Colonization Of Indigenous Land And The Genocide Of Its People
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