On Black Terry Cat, her sophomore album and debut on ANTI- Records, Xenia Rubinos tackles racism head on. You won’t necessarily find preachy lyrics that tell you what to think or do, nor activism-as-performance. Rather, the album is more of an exploration of her newfound Afro-Latina identity, a project that tackles that experience in times of black trauma. Take the single “Black Stars,” for instance, where she meditates on her feelings towards her ill father and finds inspiration in the Black Lives Matter movement.
On “Mexican Chef,” she takes a more explicit route, her words providing a much-needed reflection about immigration. The song is a quirky, magnetic jazz-inspired number. Once she sucks you in, you’re staring at the problem head on: brown immigrants are the ones who take care of all those undesirable jobs no one else wants, making them the unsung heroes of today’s U.S. society. “Brown walks your baby/Brown walks your dog/Brown raised America in place of its mom,” she charges. “Brown cleans your house/Brown takes the trash/Brown even wipes your granddaddy’s ass.”
The song now features a lyric video, so you don’t have to miss any of these snappy lines. It’s a simple set of shots of Rubinos cheerfully dancing and singing in front of a red background, with some smoke machine action for extra theatricality. As she explained to The FADER, her performance was inspired by both La Lupe and Judy Garland. Oh, and it just so happens that the video was shot at the Remezcla office – we even get a shoutout at the end.
Black Terry Cat is out now on ANTI-.