A Timeline of Yahritza Y Su Esencia’s Controversy That Has Fans Divided
Washington State-based band, Yahritza Y Su Esencia, is best known for hit songs like “Soy El Unico” and “Que Agonía.” Yes, certified top-tier bangers for cortavena car rides, cleaning your room señora-style, or just hanging out with your friends.
During their interview, the three siblings made a few nonchalant critiques about Mexican food. In fact, they described their preference for Washington’s “spicier,” “better” food, or even non-spicy chicken over anything “with chile.” As you can expect, their Mexican fans weren’t too happy about their comments.
While the three siblings grew up in Yakima Valley, Washington, their parents are from Jiquilpan, Michoacán. As per the Los Angeles Times, older brother and band member Armando “Mando” Martinez, 25, was born in Jiquilpan, but younger siblings Jairo Martinez, 18, and Yahritza Martinez, 16, were both born in Yakima.
As per the outlet, they grew up helping their father pick fruit in Yakima Valley. Mando Martinez explained, “Ever since we were like 10 or 11, we’d go help my dad pick apples, cherries, pears.” They also grew up listening to tons of música Mexicana.
There’s no doubt the band’s recent comments have led to a wave of controversy. Still, they also opened up an important discussion of what it really means to a bicultural Latino born and raised in the United States.
Yahritza Y Su Esencia’s recent interview comments caused a wave of controversy in Mexico
Several news outlets have reposted Yahritza Y Su Esencia’s recent interview comments they gave in Mexico City.
One quick search on TikTok will pull up the videos in question, where you can first hear the lead singer say, “I’m not saying I hate Mexico; I just don’t like Mexico.” Ouch.
In that video, she can later be heard saying, “I don’t think like, it’s Mexico. I just feel like it’s Mexico City.”
It gets a bit worse. The 16-year-old describes in another clip what she thinks of Mexico City: “I like it, I like it… but I don’t like when I wake up when I’m sleeping. Because you hear the cars, and the police sirens.”
Brother Mando Martinez adds, “I don’t really like the food. I prefer the food where we live. In Washington, they add a flavor that’s very spicy and it’s really good.”
Later, middle brother Jairo Martinez agrees: “For me, it’s also the food because I’m very delicate. I really only eat… chicke that don’t have chile. I don’t like any of that.”
In the same compilation video, the siblings film themselves going to a Mexican market. They jokingly wince at the look of a soft drink in a plastic bag, shaking their heads. Of course, it is unclear what they meant by their facial expressions.
That being said, people did not take any of this lightly. One person commented on the TikTok video, “This can’t be real😳😳😳,” while another said, “You can tell they… never left their bubble. A lesson learned.”
Yet another commented, “Really 😡 you don’t have to be mean to México 🇲🇽.”
However, not everyone was so convinced about how “bad” the comments were: “Well, I don’t see anything bad in their opinions. Just respect opinions.”
Now, some outlets are resurfacing old videos of the band, such as one that shows the lead singer walking away when asked about Mexico:
Now, fans are discussing the band’s comments in light of being “ni de aquí, ni de allá”
People continue to resurface videos of the band’s members talking about Mexico, or even about speaking Spanish. For one, this video of Yahritza Martinez shows her pushing back on “having to speak Spanish.”
She explained, “Just because I sing in Spanish, the people that listen to me are in Mexico, it doesn’t matter if I speak more English in Spanish.”
“I’m going to speak in Spanish when I want to, I’m going to speak in English when I want to,” she said at the time.
However, some people believe the critiques about the band are unfair. Especially considering that two of its members were born and raised in the U.S.
“The whole Mexican community on Facebook is ridiculing these young kids/adults,” one Twitter user wrote. “I think this brings a larger issue into question — being bi-cultural.”
They explained from their own experience, “This is something I can relate to as a bi-cultural young adult myself and how we navigate our identity.”
“Bicultural people may feel like they don’t quite fit in either culture. They may feel like they have to choose between their two cultures,” they described. “Or they may feel like they’re not fully a part of either one.” Who else can relate?
Even more, some people focus on how some critiques about the band are downright racist. One look at Twitter shows memes including Yahritza with a blonde wig or the band members’ faces on the bodies of Indigenous people in traditional dress.
As one Twitter user put it, “I understand the frustration… but some of ya’ll are being colorist and racist.”
Here is how the band responded to the backlash about their comments
Yahritza posted a response to the controversy on TikTok.
“We want you to know that what motivates us everyday to write songs and make music is our great pride in having Mexican blood in our veins,” she said. “It doesn’t matter where we were born; we are proudly Mexican.”
Speaking to their Mexican fans, the band explained, “You always demonstrate a lot of love to us.”
“That’s why we are thankful but also embarrassed. We’ve seen the recent comments on social media and believe the fans are right.”
“We didn’t know how to express ourselves correctly,” she explained. “Instead of speaking about how much we love the country, especially Mexico City, we said comments that were out of place.”
“We offer you an apology with all our hearts.”
Meanwhile, people continue to sound off about the controversy, while some defend the band. For one, a Twitter user said critics are “fake” for “piling on this kid”:
However, not everyone is so convinced. One TikTok user jokingly made a video about giving her kids soda in plastic bags to make sure they know about their culture:
Others continue to sound off, saying they plan on taking their future kids “to Mexico every summer” to make sure they’re well aware of their roots:
Still, other fans are reminding everyone how young the group members are, giving reason to them being “picky eaters”:
Meanwhile, some agree with the critics but say fans are “canceling” the band members much “too soon”:
The latest news? The band just announced their upcoming collaboration with Banda MS on Instagram. While it sounds amazing, people are quite divided in the comments.
Still, although some fans were quick to comment, “Dislike button” and “Unfollow,” others are pumped: “Y’all need to chill she is a teenager just growing up.”
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