It’s been quite a journey for the masked musical avenger/marauder known as El Gallo Lester. He got his start with so-bad-you-can’t-look-away viral videos, but his work has steadily begun to seem more thought-out and cohesive. In the process, he has taken aim at the Dominican mainstream, appearing on daytime TV shows and causing a bit of controversy in the more socially conservative parts of the community. His project is still very mysterious; just when you think you have it pegged as some sort of performance art thing, el Gallo turns and does something else. He even got us in hot water with Rita Indiana after insinuating (but refusing to confirm or deny) that the vocals on his track by one La Montra were actually done by Indiana herself. We simply don’t know anything for sure at this point, but Lester definitely has us intrigued.
The video for “No Quiero Fan” is a far cry from Lester’s first forays into the video world; the cinematography has been significantly upgraded, but still has some very bizarre moments (the cannon scene, for crying out loud!). On the track, El Gallo raps about the importance of being a masked figure (S/O to Alan Moore), weaving in some points of political satire and humor, and plenty of shots at his haters.
But the thing that really seals the deal for me is the music. El Gallo Lester plays “mambo metal,” which is actually done amazingly, not in a gimmicky way. Mixing merengue with rock is nothing new, but what makes El Gallo Lester special is how the hyper fast rhythm and heavy guitars play with, not against, each other. Throw in his rapid-fire rhymes and a collage-like approach to arrangements, and it’s even got me thinking this should be the natural progression of nu metal. It’s really fucking exciting and aggressive, con swing at the same time. On “No Quiero Fan,” La Montra sings an immaculate hook, the rapping is fierce and well-executed, and everything else is in its right place.
Lester has a rumored collaboration with N-Fasis in the works that we’re looking forward to, but I’m more excited to hear where he’s going with his own style, ideas and concept (in all their hilarious, provocative, unpretentious glory). Enough of one-dimensional, boring musicians, let’s have masked poultry lead us to a social and musical revolution.