As Atlanta producers continue to snag the top spots on the Billboard Hot 100, there’s still a healthy contingent of beatmakers linking up with rappers from the underground. Enter Dro Fe, a Mexican MC repping the Rio Grande Valley via Los Angeles. Dro Fe is heading up Narcowave, a streetwear brand and lifestyle movement that tries to paint a more nuanced picture of the drug war and life on the border. “We represent a part of the Mexican/American narco culture that is [under-served] in today’s society,” he told us back in the summer of 2015.
This year, Dro Fe is taking his project to the next level with Narcowave 3, his forthcoming full-length. He teamed up with Sonny Digital and Ear Drummers’ DJ Fu for “Re-Up” back in March, and now he and Fu are back at it again with a dirty Texas slapper called “Boom Boom ft. Maxo Skream.”
Right before he dropped the first single of Narcowave 3 in March, we had a chance to catch up with Fe at SXSW. Our editor-in-chief Andrea Gompf chalked it up with him, and he recounted the struggles of repping Latinos without putting yourself in a box. “In America, they like to brand us as if we’re something different,” he observes. “It’s very hard for a Latino artist to crossover, to be a mainstream American rap artist.” Though Fe’s sound has little to do with the East Coast boom bap beats of Fat Joe and Big Pun, he certainly exudes the same ambition and drive of those iconic Latino artists. “I’ve been working on making sure the music is a certain way and I’m still able to represent.”
To learn more about Narcowave 3, Narco World, 1423, and all of the projects Dro Fe will be dropping this year, watch our interview above. While you’re at it, bump his newest single below.
Thumbnail photo by Itzel Alejandra Martinez