Ten years ago, nobody believed that Mexican rap could have another resurgence. The halcyon days of Control Machete and Vieja Guardia had passed, and Mexican hip-hop’s core values – authenticity, respectability – were set in stone. But that all changed in 2013, when Alex Malverde founded Homegrown Entertainment, a record label and hip-hop collective that has become the face of the new Mexican hip-hop renaissance.
In a few short years, the crew has emerged as the one most promising new voices in the country’s hip-hop landscape. They’ve made a name for themselves by plucking influences from far and wide, blending battle-rap flows, U.S. hip-hop references and locally specific slang to create something uniquely mexa. Raising a middle finger to so-called “real hip-hop” and heads stuck in the 90s, the collective’s members – Alemán, FNTXY, Yoga Fire, and La Banda Bastön among them – are redefining what Mexican rap can be: fun, reckless, and lavish. “We’re creating a new scene where there isn’t as much jealousy, and there’s no more fear around holding up those values,” says labelhead Alex Malverde in a new Remezcla documentary, out today.
In the process, they’ve catapulted their country’s hip-hop sound into the 21st century, even as the Latin trap movement in Puerto Rico, New York, and the Dominican Republic has exploded onto the mainstream stage. “We were the first ones to professionalize the rap movement in Mexico. Now there are more avenues and opportunities,” Malverde explains.
In Remezcla’s latest short documentary, we follow Homegrown as they bring their brand of trap hecho en México across the border to Austin, Texas. We learn about the sense of brotherhood and friendship that drives the collective, and how they see their movement growing. Watch the short documentary above.