Watch This Electrifying Music Video That Tackles Economic Inequality
Hot off the heels of her genre-defying sophomore album, Black Terry Cat, Xenia Rubinos premiered a new video for her single “Mexican Chef” on The FADER. Channeling Judy Garland and La Lupe, “the queen of Latin soul,” she buoyantly jams along to the uptempo beat; however, the song is anything but ‘happy.’ With a distorted guitar riff that lends it some edge, “Mexican Chef” tackles economic inequality and the exploitation of workers of color with bitingly humorous lines like “Brown cleans your house / Brown takes the trash / Brown even wipes your granddaddy’s ass.”
Paired with her lyrics and social critique, then, Rubinos’ Garland impression suddenly begins to seem a little less joyous. Yes, she may be smiling and dancing, but not without getting a word in edgewise and reminding her viewers that yes, “this is for your enjoyment.” Rubinos is like the Mexican chef working the kitchen at your favorite Chinese takeout: for you – for us – to consume, and she wants you to know it.
In a press release, Rubinos says that:
“The set we created is my take on Judy Garland’s performance of ‘Get Happy’ from the 1950 film Summer Stock. In that song she’s essentially singing about dying, but she does it in such a joyful over the top song and dance type of way that you might miss it.”
It’s hard, however, to miss Rubinos’ point in the wake of the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, as she sings “Brown has not / Brown gets shot / Brown got what he deserved ‘cause he fought.”
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