Three years after the tragic plane crash that took the lives of Jenni Rivera and four members of her entourage, a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge has ruled that the families are entitled to a $70 million settlement. The court ruling comes after Starwood Management LLC, the company responsible for the upkeep of the Learjet involved in the crash, abandoned their defense, leaving them subject to the default ruling. While no amount of money can fill the void that comes from the loss of a family member, the verdict means the families can now hold accountable those responsible.
“Now, the next chapter begins to recover the substantial damages caused by this loss,” said Paul R. Kiesel, the attorney who represented the families.
The case against Starwood Management LLC showed that the company had a pattern of neglect when it came to the maintenance of the Learjet 25 that crashed. Built in 1969, the jet had suffered numerous minor accidents over the years, some of which were alarming enough to ground the plane permanently. In addition, Christian E. Esquino Nuñez, an executive with Starwood, has been investigated for his role in falsifying the records of many of the company’s planes. The process of getting Starwood to hand over the $70 million payout now begins.
In time for Cinco de Mayo, Mexican singer Victoria La Mala released her debut EP Soy Mala. In one of the EP’s powerful moments, she teamed up with recent Latin Grammy winner Chiquis for “Sexo Débil.” The women of regional Mexican music just want to have fun in the video. In an interview with Latido Music, Victoria La Mala and Chiquis talked about their genre-bending collaboration and career highlights.
Victoria La Mala’s music is a unique blend of regional Mexican music and hip-hop and R&B.
“I grew up in Mexico City,” Victoria La Mala tells mitú. “My dad was from Culiacán. My mom is from Jalisco, so I grew up listening to banda, mariachi, and norteño. I also grew up coming to the states every summer. Out here my tías would be listening to R&B and hip-hop. I really wanted with this project that I’m putting out, Soy Mala, to combine those sides of me.”
Victoria La Mala and Chiquis’ musical worlds collide in “Sexo Débil.”
Victoria La Mala’s unique fusion of regional Mexican music and hip-hop is the soundtrack behind “Sexo Débil” with Chiquis. Victoria’s bicultural flow meets Rivera’s banda music flavor. The song shifts between Latin trap and a cumbia-like breakdown courtesy of Chiquis. Victoria adds that the playful music video was “like a lot of girl power.”
“The industry people don’t see males and females in the same way,” Victoria La Mala says. “I decided I want to a write a song about how sometimes in this world, they treat us differently because we’re females, but we’re going to tell them, ‘No, we’re amazing. We can do whatever we want, and you’re not going to tell me what I can and cannot do.'”
“Doing a song like this with Victoria La Mala is exactly what we’ve been dealing with since the beginning,” Chiquis adds. “Since Graciela Beltrán. Since Jenni Rivera. It’s been so tough. It’s wonderful to be able to do things with other women in my genre for sure.”
Chiquis made Latin Grammys history in November.
In November, Chiquis became the first female solo artist to win the Latin Grammy Award for Best Banda Album. Her album Playlist featuring collaborations with Becky G, Ely Quintero, and Helen Ochoa took the award that her mom, Jenni Rivera, was once nominated for.
“It was a beautiful moment,” Chiquis recalls. “Very surreal. I like pressure. I like a challenge, so I didn’t want to feel like ‘I’m comfortable now.’ I want to better myself in every single way. It definitely helped in that way as well. It’s beautiful to represent to be able to represent women in my genre, especially when I was nominated with men. It’s an honor.”
Victoria La Mala teamed up with Chris Pérez and Joe Ojeda for two songs on her EP.
A big moment for Victoria La Mala this year was teaming up with former Selena y Los Dinos band members Chris Pérez and Joe Ojeda for the song “Nuestra Tierra.” They also collaborated with Yorch on the empowering anthem that speaks to the Mexican immigrant experience.
“I’m an immigrant,” Victoria says. “My family came here from Mexico too. It’s always been very important for me to represent that for the immigrants and show that we’re here to make a better life for ourselves.”
“Nuestra Tierra” is actually one of four songs that Victoria La Mala ended up recording with the iconic duo. They also worked together on the song “Tenme Miedo” for her Soy Mala EP.
“It was an amazing experience to work with them,” Victoria La Mala says. “To literally be sitting with two people who are part of the Selena legacy, which I’ve always said is such an inspiration to me. She’s one of my biggest inspirations since I was a little girl. It was so surreal.”
In a moment for Mexican hip-hop, Victoria La Mala collaborated with Alemán.
Another major collaboration on Soy Mala is Victoria La Mala’s song with Mexican rapper Alemán. This is Mexican hip-hop at its finest when the two artists come together. The song “Todo Lo Que Quieres” was helmed by Justin Bieber and Post Malone producer Maejor.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Victoria La Mala says. “When [Alemán] sent me his verses, I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ It’s amazing. He’s such a cool guy. Very down to earth. I tell him, ‘You’re like a primo to me now.’ When he came to L.A. we got to hang out for a little bit. The song that we have together, it’s a trip.”
Victoria La Mala and Chiquis have love for their fans in the LGBTQ+ community.
Like Victoria La Mala and Chiquis who are working extra hard in the male-dominated regional Mexican music scene, the LGBTQ+ community can identify with that struggle for acceptance. Chiquis’ younger brother, Johnny Rivera, is a part of the community. It’s the women in music that the queer fans often gravitate toward. I asked them if they have a message for their fans in the LGBTQ+ community.
“For me, the message is: I’m so proud of you guys for being who you are,” Victoria La Mala says. “Not being afraid to show your true self. That is something I admire and we need the world to see more of that. We need the world to see people being more confident and being true to who they are. We love you guys and we support you and I’m so proud of you guys for being so strong.”
“I’m very open and very transparent on social media about supporting the LGBT community,” Chiquis adds. “For me it’s very important for people to just be their authentic self. I always say, ‘Live and let live.’ I will never judge or criticize. I’m here. I’m a voice for you guys. I stand with you. Un besote a cada uno de corazón. I love the community. Thank you for your support.”
Victoria La Mala hopes to collaborate with Snow Tha Product next.
As for the next woman to team-up with, Victoria La Mala hopes that can be Mexican-American rapper Snow Tha Product. “She’s one of the few Mexican girls in hip-hop doing it both in English and in Spanish,” she says.
“There’s so much talent out there, female talent, and our genre is a little bit tainted and dominated by males, and I want us to just come together, and unite, and empower each other because it’s not a competition,” Chiquis adds.
We love the holidays as it is the one time of year we truly embrace being home for the holidays and taking in all of our favorite Latin traditions. Tamales, check. Atole, check. The Loteria cards, check. Drunk Tío Juan in the corner, check. Now you cannot forget the tunes. While we most definitely have Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and Wham’s “Last Christmas” on the holiday playlist, we will certainly include our favorite Latin music artists as well. To make your life easier we made a list of the most beloved Latin holiday music.
Los Lobos have just released a brand new Christmas song, and it’s so good!
Our favorite East L.A. rock band just released “Christmas And You” and it will make you so very nostalgic and teary-eyed. The music video was also shot on the streets of East Los. The holiday ballad was written by band members David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez. Los Lobos, who went mainstream for their recording of “La Bamba,” is back with a new album perfect for Christmas that the whole family will love.
The album is titled “Llego Navidad” and it includes holiday music from all over Latin America.
According to a press release, Los Lobos started with 150 selections and narrowed their way down to a tracklist that includes a regional folk song from Veracruz in Mexico (“La Rama”), a rework of ’70s South American salsa hit “La Murga de Panamá,” the 1958 novelty song “Dónde Está Santa Claus” and the Tex-Mex border classic “Christmas Time In Texas.” It’s surely will be a classic for years to come.
Juanes — “Mi Burrito Sabanero”
This is one of our favorite holiday songs from our childhood, so this new-ish version from 2009 is a family pleaser. There are lots of artists that cover this song, but Juanes by far is one of the best.
Celia Cruz — “Campanas De Navidad”
If you’re throwing a real fiesta, your party playlist must include this salsa holiday song by the one and only Celia Cruz.
Jenni Rivera — “Amarga Navidad”
Now we don’t wish a bad Christmas on anyone, but sometimes sh*t happens. It’s no secret that people typically break up during the holidays, so this song by Jenni Rivera will help somewhat. Let’s face it, you’re going to get tipsy anyway, so you might as well do it while listening to a song that you can relate to.
José Feliciano — “Feliz Navidad”
José Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” goes hand-in-hand with Christmas just as much as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Heck, everyone knows the words to this song, especially non-Latinos. So, we’re lucky that we Latinos can basically assume all rights to this song at every holiday function — even that work office party.
Hector Lavoe and Willie Colon – “Aires de Navidad”
With a glass of coquito, grab your favorite relative and get down to Hector Lavoe and Willie Colon’s “Aires de Navidad.” This song just speaks to our festive family that can be simultaneously bickering over politics and dancing at the same time.
Yuri — “Eterna Navidad”
Now, if you really want to go old-school your holiday playlist must include this ’80s retro version of Yuri’s “Eterna Navidad.” The video will literally drive you mad, so just to stick to the song and forget this dizzy video.
Alejandro Sanz — “Noche de Luz”
For those romantical folks who want to get in the holiday spirit but also want to secretly daydream over the lustful Alejandro Sanz, his “Noche de Luz” song will melt your heart.
José Alfredo Jiménez — “Se Va Diciembre”
Your abuelitos will love that you included a lovely ranchera ballad from their heyday. The inclusion of José Alfredo Jiménez’s “Se Va Diciembre” will perhaps score you an extra present this year. You’re welcome.
Luis Miguel — “Santa Claus Llego A La Ciudad”
After watching the life story of Luis Miguel on Netflix we can’t help but feel a little closer to the crooner. So here he is doing what he knows best, singing his heart out.
Prince Royce — “Mi Regalo Favorito”
This Christmas playlist would not be completed without the addition of Prince Royce’s “Mi Regalo Favorito” from 2013. It’s got everything you could possibly want: that bachata beat, Spanglish lyrics, and Prince Royce’s lovely voice.
We hope you liked our holiday roundup. If there’s anything we missed let us know in the comment section below!