22 January 2012

22 January 2012 - Mala Rodríguez - No Pidas Perdón/Nanai

Welcome to Non-Guilty Sunday, where we wash the guilt away with an artist who isn't going to make you feel so bad about liking them.  I open with two songs that have been stuck in my head ever since I did that Shakira post.

Mala Rodríguez. At times, she has gone by La Mala - her name means bad.  As in, bad-ass.  From Spain, she has come to America to work with the top names in hip hop, a musical genre for which she obviously has a lot of respect and understanding.  She also worked with Nelly Furtado when she was going through her Spanish language phase, but we've all made mistakes.

It wasn't her birth name.  That was María.  Please don't make me type any more accent marks.  

This first video, from 2010, is for a song that won the Latin Grammy for Best Urban Song.  The video is one of those few that actually enhances the song, despite not really having anything to do with the lyrics. It is also pretty bad-ass.

Mala's fashion sense is nothing new, as can be seen in this 2006 video for an earlier song, Nanai.  Clearly, her music has matured since this time, but you can more clearly see her energy and her respect for hip hop.  In fact, I think it's much easier to see her energy from this video than in her later work.  The other thing that is clear in this video? The flamenco influence on her performance style.

Update: here's a working live video:


I discovered her music through a curling friend of mine from Schenectady, Victor Rodriguez, and his Spotify playlists, which correspond to two of her albums.  He knows his movies and his curling, and he has excellent musical taste.  He's also on Twitter, and you should follow him.  I give him full credit for making me a huge Mala Rodríguez fan. 

I know that 90% of you aren't going to understand these lyrics.  I think both of these songs transcend language barriers, as do most of Ms. Rodríguez's songs.  I just hope we hear more from her soo

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