Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. In Mexico, it is a relatively minor holiday, but it’s the perfect time to crank up this Latinx feminist playlist. While you are sipping that margarita and celebrating Mexican and Mexican-American culture and heritage, raise your voice to acknowledge the families affected by our abysmal immigration policies and the violence against Latinxs in this country and across the border. Vamos a la fiesta de estilo feminista/Let’s celebrate feminist style!
You can also listen to these songs on Unsweetened: A Playlist for a Feminist Future on Spotify.
Le Butcherettes, “Feminist Politics”
Teri Gender Bender combines the personal and the political in her Mexican garage punk music. “Igualdad de sexos!”
Mariachi Flor de Toloache, “Dicen”
Mariachi Flor de Toloache is making history as the first all-women mariachi group. The members hail from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Australia, Colombia, Germany, Italy and the United States and this defines their unique, edgy take on traditional Mexican music. Named after the legendary Toloache flower, which is used in Mexico as a love potion, the group creates empoderamiento de la música.
Mare Advertencia Lírika, ¿Y tú qué esperas?
Oaxacan feminist rapper Mare Advertencia Lírika is fierce. Her music features reggae tones, Mexican folklore, foot stomping, and lyrics that denounce the patriarchy and violence against indigenous peoples. “¿Y tú qué esperas?”
Natalia Lafourcade, “Derecho de nacimiento”
Mexican pop-rock singer and songwriter, Natalia Lafourcade wrote this song for the “YoSoy132” movement, organized by students to create awareness of Mexico’s political situation and media censorship in 2012. Lafourcade says, “Este canto, es un canto de fe, esperanza, causa y amor.” This song is a song of faith, hope, cause and love.
Carrie Rodriguez, “Cortez the Killer”
A singer/songwriter based in Austin, Texas, Carrie Rodriguez calls her music “Ameri-chicana” and her songwriting style and subject matter highlight her Chicana identity. Check out this cover of the 1975 song by Neil Young about the Spanish conquest of the New World.
Ruido Rosa, “S.O.S.”
This punk-rock band from Mexico City consists of four powerful women. This tribute to ABBA is fun, but give Solo a listen too!
Sheila E, “The Glamorous Life”
Known as “The Queen of Percussion,” Mexican-American Sheila E had a career in music before meeting Prince in the ‘70s, but their collaborations skyrocketed her career and brought us all into “the glamorous life.”
Alice Bag, “77”
Latina punk singer and feminist archivist, Alice Bag, is the lead singer and co-founder of The Bags, one of the first wave of LA punk bands in the mid-1970s. She teams up with riot grrrls Kathleen Hannah and Allison Wolfe in this battle cry against the gender wage gap.
Lila Downs, “La Llorna”
With a full-throated voice that borrows heavily from opera, Lila Dows is a storyteller as well as a singer. In the Mexican folk song, “La Llorna,” the Mexican American musician tells the story of “the weeping woman” and adds a jazz flair.
Jezzy P, Moyenei, Joaka, Ximbo, “Rimas Femeninas”
Jezzy P, Moyenei, Joaka, and Ximbohe make up the Rimas Femininas collective and together they raise their voices against gender discrimination and violence.
BONUS: Las Cafeteras, “If I Was President”
Natives of Los Angeles and children of immigrants, Las Cafeteras weave rock, punk, hip hop, and traditional Latin folk together This song celebrates their cultural identities and challenges the current administration’s appalling immigration policies.
For these songs and many more, see the playlist below, follow, and listen.
Want to help immigrants and Dreamers? Got to Mijente.