Mala Rodríguez has been a rapper for over two decades, so one is allowed small wonder over the fact that her songs’ subject matter has evolved. Her latest single is a stripped-down piano ballad, its flamenco-inspired vocal arcs tribute to Rodríguez’s half-Romani heritage that she has touted through past singles like 2018’s hip hop missive “Gitanas.”
But rather than cultural roots, “Mami” speaks of a pang familiar to most working mothers; that of taking leave of one’s child to grind. In the song, Rodríguez watches her sleeping offspring from the hallway after returning from a night on the job. In addition to her own vocational experience, the song’s providence comes from an interview Rodríguez watched with a woman CEO. The executive said she had risen to her position at the expense of her private life. “She lost some things, but gained others,” Rodríguez tells Remezcla.
The Spanish emcee and singer says she grew up with a working mother herself, and expounded on those most complicated of feelings felt by women who must try to have it all. “For me, our work has double the value because in addition to working we have to put up with the guilt of not being able to spend more time with our family,” she says.
Do note that this does not mean that Rodríguez will be stepping away from the limelight anytime soon to focus exclusively on motherhood (though she did take years off of working on her career when her youngest was born). “The fact is we must follow our dreams, whatever they are,” she says. “Because that is the best way of inspiring those around us.”
Watch the video for “Mami” here: