If you don’t look further than the male-heavy rosters of many of the major regional labels, it can be easy to miss women’s contributions to today’s mainstream industry. Leave it to Jenni Rivera’s own daughter to release a wake-up call of a song called “Las Destrampadas.” Chiquis Rivera executive produced and sings on the raucous banda single that dropped this week, its lyrics a paean to women who could not care less about what the rest of the world thinks of them.
She doesn’t deliver the message alone. Chiquis brought Culiacán’s Ely Quintero of “Quiero Andar Al 420” fame and the Fresno-born crooner Helen Ochoa along with her in what Rivera says is the first regional collaboration featuring three such prominent singers.
“For me this song was truly important, because we all know that regional Mexican is dominated by men,” Rivera tells Remezcla, saying that she sat on the “Destrampadas” composition for years looking for the right collaborators. “There are so many talented women, and this was my way of showing that, coming together with other girls who I respect, who I admire, who I love.” Perhaps it’s a good thing she waited, because this trio turned out an instant karaoke classic, and seem well picked to raise hell.
“We were able to skip over the line that separates women!” Quintero tells Remezcla. “I think that when you mix reality with music the results are magic.”
One can only hope that the night out described in the “Las Destrampadas” video comes from real life inspiration. Rivera, Quintero and Ochoa’s sheer power cause the crowd at Anaheim’s Rumba Room to drop their drinks when they walk into the club. Shots, platonic ass-slapping, donuts in the parking lot set to a cumbia interlude and a considerable number of popped bottles later, they wind up posing for their mugshots.
“‘Destrampadas’ means women who like to have fun,” clarified Rivera. “It’s not necessarily that they break the rules, as much as they make their own rules.” In a moment sorely lacking for women’s narratives in regional music, here’s hoping that the industry starts playing by theirs.