Listen: Los Macuanos – "El Camotero"

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Los Macuanos are part of the Ruidosón revolution that exploded in the local Tijuana music scene and became internationally known for its brooding themes and big bass beats that coalesce the past and the current to create a fresh sound that represents the present and looks forward to the future. Los Macuanos have been making clever political statements and social commentary through their music.

They use cultural references and iconography as a source of inspiration. Take their new song, El Camotero, who is a street vendor that pushes a cart that has a mini wood-fired oven and a tall smoke pipe that lets out steam and produces a loud pan-pipe sounding noise that alerts those nearby that you can get your camotes & plaintains –a staple of late night street food that gets topped off by “lechera”(sweetened condensed milk) and is accompanied with a cup of milk.

Moih, one of the members of Los Macuanos always wanted to sample the sounds of a camotero and create a song around them. Finally, the idea became a reality. El Camotero became a satirized ode to “pregónes”, a type of street vendor songs that street-sellers use in Mexico to get your attention. In a way El Camotero became the anti-Working Class Hero for Los Macuanos since the sounds that the pipes produce are creepy to Moih as to so many others. It also has an obvious double entendre. The word “camote” in Mexico is slang for penis. When the lyrics say “hands ups, the camotero is coming” they make sense in a totally different way.

For those of you that are familiar to the camotero and his sounds the intro of the song will make you reminisce of the street vendors that would bring you delicious desserts to your doorstep or it will trigger the fear that this loud noise would induce. For those of you who don’t know these sounds, the next time you are in Mexico you will never see a camotero without thinking of this awesome song.