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For more than 200 years, the Mexican corrido has told derring-do stories about heroes and villains and a host of hero-villains.

The ballad form naturally moved to the United States and eventually prevailed in American politics, where heroes and villains (and hero-villains) rule. JFK got dozens to mark his assassination; one hailed Jimmy Carter as the “peanut king.”

The Hillary also won something, including “The Hillary Clinton Run,” a lazy effort launched in 2016 by rancher icon Vicente Fernández that repurposed an old hit of hers to tell fans to vote for Clinton.

And we know how that ended. Oh, she got the popular vote. But apparently Chente never heard of the electoral college.

President Trump has appeared in a select few, inevitably as a bad man, and not in a cool way. Uncle Bernie? A jammin ’called“ El Quemazón ”(“ El Berna ”).

But Uncle Joe Biden? It just doesn’t inspire the same sentiments among Latinos, be it hate or love, as Trump or Sanders.

Mariachi band hopes to perform ahead of campaign event for Joe Biden
A mariachi band waits to perform before a January campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in Las Vegas (John Locher / Associated Press).
So it largely ran out of corridos until the Diaz brothers decided to do something about it.

And the way they put together “The Signal Is Joe and Kamala” (“The Signal Is Joe and Kamala”) was so Los Angeles around 2020:

Take two natives of Watts: David is a music producer, Elvis is a political science student at Columbia University.

Add a composer based in Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost state.

Find a northern band in Las Vegas to record the track.

Have them debut at a small town Georgia nightclub.

“La Señal” by La Nueva Onda Norteña starts with a flourish of notes plucked off a bajo sexto (12-string guitar) by singer Selwyn Gonzalez.

La Nueva Onda Norteña’s “La Signal” begins with a flourishing of notes plucked from a sixth bass (12-string guitar) by singer Selwyn González. As footage from Biden’s career appears on a screen behind the band, González hums what a vote for the Democratic presidential candidate would bring Latinos: respect. Hope. Crumbling walls.

Interestingly, the easy villain in such a story is nowhere to be found. Trump is not even mentioned.

Instead, the swaying chant of La Nueva Onda Norteña offers something absent in electoral politics these days: optimism.

Expectations for “The Signal” are modest for David, who spent about $ 1,500 of his own money to produce it.

“If we change a person’s opinion, I will be happy,” the 28-year-old said by phone from Mexico. “But hopefully, it changes millions.”

With fewer than 4,000 YouTube views, it probably won’t. Elvis sent the song to Biden’s team, who did not respond; Instead, they used songs by Vicente Fernández’s son Alejandro and reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny to compose campaign commercials.

But the corrido shows how this election has inspired Mexican American men who previously didn’t care about American politics to jump into the fray.

Those who have leaned toward Trump because of the feeling that he is a macho macho are receiving a lot of media attention. But the Díaz brothers and La Nueva Onda Norteña represent the silent majority of these gentlemen: men who care about their family and community and for a long time saw their incessant work, not elections, as the way forward for Latinos.

Until now.

It is also an inadvertent appeal to today’s regional Mexican music industry in the United States, which has a surprisingly long history with US presidential campaigns beyond mere chronicle. Mariachis serenaded JFK the night before his death and Richard Nixon at his opening gala in 1973. Ranchero legend Antonio Aguilar was a friend of Ronald Reagan.

Vicente Fernández even performed at the 2000 Republican National Convention.

Today? It’s easier for the industry to praise greed and any number of drug lords than American democracy. Or democracy, period.

“All Mexicans have a friend who was born here but does not want to vote,” González said. “That doesn’t matter. But we need you to become aware.”

“Before this, my interest in politics was zero,” admitted David. But we need a change. Something different than what Trump is doing. And I needed to do something. ”

Joe Biden walks in a picket line with members of Culinary Workers Union Local 226
Joe Biden walks a picket line with members of Culinary Workers Union Local 226 in front of the Palms Casino in Las Vegas in February. (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)
David strives to differentiate himself from Elvis: the brother, not the King. “He’s more on the side of intelligence,” he said. “He goes to Columbia. I am more the streets. I know Mexican music ”.

Elvis, a 30-year-old who has worked for the Thai and Peruvian consulates in the United States and as a speechwriter for the Mozambican ambassador to the United Nations, never bothered to discuss politics with his younger brother.

“He’s a businessman and he doesn’t want to lose any potential income,” Elvis said. “But we must all participate this year.”

Knowing the social upheaval that Bernie Sanders’ run created during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, Elvis presented his idea to his brother. After a couple of deep conversations, David agreed.

“People don’t understand the power of the vote until it affects them,” he said. “And this election definitely will.”

David reached out to a previous collaborator, Hunab Mandujano. Despite living in Chiapas, the 28-year-old was “happy and excited” to write something about Biden.

“We [in Mexico] know what is happening there and the racist language that Trump uses, and not just about Mexicans,” Mandujano said. The Diaz brothers only offered one suggestion: don’t focus on Trump, because that corridos market was already full of songs ranting that the president is “crazier than a goat.” Or a “fucking clown” in another. And those are the insults that we can print.

“Look, I like marketing,” David said. “All that [crap] talking about Trump helps him.”

He is right. Because if you’ve heard an anti-45 run or a Facebook rule, in fact, you’ve heard them all. Obsessive hatred offers no other way out than to hate a little more.

So the song debuted at a club in Moultree, Georgia, a city of roughly 14,000 in southern Georgia near a major chicken processing plant. González said the audience was mostly Salvadoran and Guatemalan, but “they liked it.”

The promoter of the club, on the other hand …

“At first I was like, ‘What happened to that run?'” He said. “I was nervous about being seen as a politician. But there is always a first time for something.

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IbrarHussain

Ibrar Hussain is the USA Today Bestselling author of 6 novels, including The Dig, A Warm Place to Call Home (a demon’s story), and Exigency. He lives in Northern California with “the wife,” “the kids,” “the dog,” “that cat,” and he occasionally wears pants. His latest release, RETURN, is the third book in his #1 bestselling Matt Turner series.

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