It all started with Molotov and their ¿Dónde jugarán las niñas? album of my early adolescence. I loved their mongrel insults (“fuck you puto baboso!”) and their Voto Latino song:
I’ll kick your ass yo mismo
por supporting el racismo.
Blow your head
hasta la vista
por ser un vato racista.
Que sentirias si muere en tus brazos
a brother who got beaten up by macanazos?
Que sentirias si cae junto a ti
una hermana que canto una “Rebel Melody”?
Pinta tu madre patria de colores
so you can’t tell the difference entre los others.
More recently, a song by Yolanda Perez (featuring “Don Cheto”), Estoy Enamorada, has brought it all back to me:
Don’t tell me por favor, que no lo puedes creer,
Si mis amigas tienen boyfriend yo tambien puedo tener.
Tu no me entiendes, Dad.
Yo no soy niña, Dad.
Yo voy a tener novio and I don’t care if you get mad.
Se que sigues saliendo con ese, stupid.
Ya se que se besaron no creas que no lo supi[!].
Yo lo unico que entiendo es que si lo veo por aqui, I kick his cholo ass.
- Akwid*, a recently famous group from Los Angeles, is a slightly different matter. Their music itself, for one thing, is something both truly different — mixing Mexican Pacific brass band with hip-hop — and truly good — the tuba “burping along like a nimble elephant.” But they don’t really speak Spanglish. It’s mostly just Spanish, but a different one from mine. One even more imbued with American influence.
They have a song called Pobre Compa in which the singer tells about a romantic triangle between him, his best friend and a girl. There’s a voice-over at the middle of the song in which the singer addresses the girl. One hears knocking, a door opening, and the following brief dialogue:
Akwid: Se puede?
Girl: Pienso que si.
Akwid: Esta aqui?
You can’t tell by the text, but the girl speaks her 5 words with a distinct accent that I love: crisp Spanish with an English cadence — which, btw, is completely different to gringo Spanish: broken Spanish with no cadence at all; an English tongue trying to mimic, unsuccessfully, Spanish sounds. And there was something else, beyond the accent, that I found interesting and appealing but couldn’t precisely pinpoint. I know now: it’s that “pienso que si”; a perfectly valid Spanish sentence, of course, but it feels somewhat unnatural to my Spanish sensibilities. “Pienso que si” mimics the English “I think so” where I would have more naturally said “creo que si” (“I believe so”).
It’s similar to the phrase “dulce para mi ojo” in their Taquito de Ojo song. That’s a quintessentially English phrase, “eye candy”, translated to Spanish inside a song with a quintessentially Spanish phrase as its title: “taquito de ojo” (“eye taco”). I like that.
Truth is, I love this blending whatever the language involved, I “delight in mélange.” Just to give an example, yesterday, via Diana, I found about a
French Canadian group called K’maro and I was thrilled. They have true talent for Franglais, just look at this gem:
Welcome dans mon monde si tu party.
Welcome parmi nous si t’es naughty.
Or think about how “weekend” is now a French word. It’s much more natural to French cadence that the clunky “fin de semaine”.