In this as-told-to for Más Que Suficiente, More Than Enough, an Elite Daily series celebrating Latinx culture, singer Becky G opens up about breaking barriers in the music industry and choosing not to define her sound to Elite Daily’s dating editor, Veronica Lopez. Para leer este ensayo en español, desliza hacia abajo.
Growing up, my parents always called me a little chispa — a firework who just had to cause a scene wherever I went. I was born and raised in Inglewood, California, in a really big Mexican-American family (you can imagine what our family parties looked like), and I was always the little girl on top of the table, dancing and singing, saying, “Look at me; look what I can do.” When the economy crashed [in 2008], when I was 11, we lost our home. We moved into my grandparents’ converted garage and all six of us lived in a space smaller than the living room in my apartment now.
My grandparents were the first in our family to come to America from Jalisco, Mexico, in search of better opportunities. Even though it was under very different circumstances, after we lost our home we found ourselves in a similar position: We had to start over and make a life out of nothing. So I drew up a little “contract” and asked my parents to give me six months to break into the entertainment industry. They supported me, and six months later, I was working with my very first agency, booking short films, commercials, voice-overs, and writing my own songs. That was 12 years ago — I’m 23 years old now, and I’ve never stopped working. You could call what we went through “tough times,” but they were pivotal moments that shaped who I am today. Making music and entertaining people are my passions, and using them to help my family became the foundation of my career.
No matter what came our way, music was everywhere in my home. We listened to music in both English and Spanish, so I grew up hearing Christina Aguilera and TLC while singing Selena Quintanilla. Singing in Spanish always came more naturally to me than speaking it, but I was scared to do so professionally. I don’t say that lightly — it was one of my greatest fears. The Selena movie scene where her dad says, “You have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans” — I felt that. I thought to myself, I’m the 200%: 100% Mexicana and 100% American. I’m proud to be from LA, but I hated feeling like I had to choose between that and my Mexican roots. All my life I’ve worried that for the Americans, I’d be a little too Mexican. And if that were the case, and they didn’t accept me, then where would I belong? Who would I belong to?
I have an American mind, and a Mexican heart.
I think, subconsciously, I’ve always feared that if I sang Spanish music professionally, people could judge me for not being totally fluent. But eventually I realized I’m not the only Latina in the world who doesn’t speak Spanish perfectly, and I shouldn’t feel less than for that. I have an American mind, and a Mexican heart. I have so much pride and appreciation for the blood that runs through my veins, the history behind my last name, and the stories of the people who came before me. So I decided I wasn’t going to choose who to be, and I dove into my career wholeheartedly. Next thing you know, I’m in the studio making my Spanish project. But that wasn’t the only difficult decision I’d have to make.
In the Latin music industry, [I was told] “women don’t sell tickets,” and that I’d “never have” my own headlining tour or get booked for any shows by promoters. If I wanted to be a Mexicana doing reggaeton, then “good luck,” because “Mexicanas only do regional Mexican music, or música romántica, or pop rock en español.” But I’m from Inglewood. I started off as a rapper. I listened to 2Pac, Biggie Smalls, Daddy Yankee, and Ivy Queen. I knew what I wanted. People have always tried to put me in this little cajita, but I was just not having it. I decided if I was going to do this — then I was going to do it my way, and we were going to change the game.
I couldn’t be prouder of the boundaries we’ve broken so far. I’m constantly trying to share opportunities with others and really bring people together, and I want to make sure that also translates beyond what I’m doing in the industry. As an artist, I’m aware of the weight my platform carries. I’ve never been one to shy away from the fight for justice. [When it comes to standing up for what’s right] a lot of artists ask themselves, “Do I say something or do I not say something?” And I think we should always say something, and we should always be willing to listen and learn. If not, we’re going to miss so many opportunities for change and unity. Older Latinx generations tend to be unwilling to really hear young Latinxs out, or have simply never understood why certain views can be so harmful. Why do I only “have” to talk about immigration rights when Black Lives Matter affects us, too? Our entire Afro Latino community falls under this race and are also discriminated against. This is our fight. Having those uncomfortable conversations, donating, and aligning yourself with the right people can help us all be a part of these movements on a greater scale.
As a country, we need so much more empathy right now — we need to be able to say, “I may not understand, but I am right here with you. And I don’t have all the answers, but just know you’re not alone.” Our generation constantly hears, “You’re the change; be the change.” And I see so many young people really stepping into greatness just owning it. It’s so inspiring. COVID-19 and the resurgence of the BLM movement have inspired me to revisit every single aspect of my career. I’ve tried to reimagine everything I want to create, really making sure that the intention to help others is embedded in the DNA of any Becky G project, whether it’s producing, film, TV, or music. I really want to be a part of that change.
No puedes obligar a Becky G a escoger
Cuando era pequeña, mis padres me llamaban “chispita”, la que siempre tenía que dramatizar todo. Nací y crecí en Inglewood, California, en una familia mexicana-Norteamericana enorme (puedes imaginar nuestras parrandas), y yo siempre fui la nena bailando y cantando arriba de la mesa, diciendo, “Mírame, mira lo que puedo hacer.” Cuando la economía colapsó [en el 2008], cuando tenía 11 años, perdimos nuestra casa. Nos mudamos al garaje de mis abuelos, y los seis vivimos en un espacio más pequeño que el salón de mi apartamento hoy en día.
Mis abuelos emigraron a los Estados Unidos desde Jalisco, México, en búsqueda de mejores oportunidades. Aunque las circunstancias eran muy distintas, después de perder nuestra casa nos encontramos en una posición muy parecida: Tuvimos que empezar de nuevo y crear una vida de la nada. Así que escribí un pequeño contrato, y les pedí a mis padres que me dieran seis meses para iniciarme en la industria del entretenimiento. Me apoyaron, y después de seis meses, empecé a trabajar con mi primera agencia, actuando en películas cortas, grabando voz en off y escribiendo mis propias canciones. Eso fue hace 12 años — ahora tengo 23 años, y nunca he dejado de trabajar. Lo que vivimos puede ser considerada una etapa difícil, pero fueron momentos fundamentales que formaron a la persona que soy hoy en día. Crear música y entretener a la gente son mis pasiones, y poder usarlas para ayudar a mi familia fue la base de mi carrera.
A pesar de todo, la música siempre estuvo presente en nuestro hogar. Escuchábamos música en inglés y en español, así que siempre escuchaba a Christina Aguilera y a TLC igual que a Selena Quintanilla. Para mí, cantar en español siempre fue más fácil que hablarlo, pero me asustaba la idea de hacerlo profesionalmente. No lo digo fácilmente — fue una de las cosas que más miedo me daba. En la película Selena, cuando su papá le dice, “Tienes que ser más mexicana que los mexicanos y más estadounidense que los estadounidenses” — eso lo sentí. Pensaba, soy el 200%: 100% mexicana y 100% estadounidense. Estoy orgullosa de ser de Los Ángeles, pero me chocaba sentir como si tuviera que elegir entre esa identidad y mis raíces mexicanas. Toda mi vida, temía que para los Norteamericanos, sería demasiado mexicana. Y si fuera el caso y no me aceptaran, ¿a dónde pertenecería? ¿A quién?
Tengo una mente estadounidense y un corazón mexicano.
Creo que, subconscientemente, temía que si cantaba música en español, en frente de una audiencia, me iban a juzgar por no poder hablarlo con fluidez total. Pero eventualmente, me di cuenta de que no soy la única latina en el mundo que no habla español perfectamente, y no me debo sentir inferior por eso. Tengo una mente estadounidense y un corazón mexicano. Tengo tanto orgullo y apreciación por la sangre que fluye por mis venas, la historia de mi apellido y la historia de mis antepasados. Así que decidí que no tenía que elegir y me dediqué a mi carrera completamente. De pronto, ya estaba realizando mi proyecto en español. Pero esa no fue la única decisión difícil que tendría que tomar.
En la industria de la música latina, [me dijeron que] “las mujeres no venden entradas,” y que “nunca tendría” mi propio tour, o que los promotores jamás me iban a contratar para tocar conciertos. Si yo quería ser una mexicana haciendo reggaeton, pues “buena suerte,” porque las cantantes mexicanas “sólo hacíamos música folklórica, romántica o pop-rock en español.” Pero soy de Inglewood. Empecé como rapera. Escuchaba a 2Pac, Biggie Smalls, Daddy Yankee e Ivy Queen. Yo sabía lo que quería. Siempre me querían meter en una cajita, pero no lo iba a permitir. Decidí que si quería hacer reggaeton, lo iba a hacer a mi manera e íbamos a cambiar el juego.
No puedo estar más orgullosa de los límites que hemos sobrepasado en el camino. Siempre me gusta compartir oportunidades con los demás para unir a la gente, y quiero asegurarme de que eso vaya más allá de lo que estoy haciendo en la industria musical. Como artista, sé que mi plataforma tiene influencia. Nunca he tenido miedo de luchar por la justicia. [Cuando se trata de defender lo correcto] muchos artistas se preguntan, “¿Digo algo o no?” Y creo que siempre debemos decir algo, y siempre debemos estar dispuestos a escuchar y aprender. Si no, vamos a perder muchas oportunidades para lograr grandes cambios y unirnos. Las generaciones mayores latinas tienden a no escuchar a los jóvenes, o simplemente no han aprendido porque algunos puntos de vista pueden ser tan dañinos. ¿Porque solo “tengo que” hablar de derechos de inmigración cuando el movimiento por las vidas de los afroamericanos nos afecta también? La comunidad afro-latina es parte de nuestra raíz, y también enfrenta la misma discriminación. Esta es nuestra lucha. Tener esas conversaciones incómodas, realizar donaciones y unirse a la gente que piensa lo mismo nos puede ayudar a formar parte de estos movimientos a gran escala.
Como país, necesitamos más empatía que nunca — necesitamos poder decir, “No entiendo, pero estoy contigo. Y no tengo las respuestas, pero quiero que sepas que no estás solo.” A nuestra generación siempre nos dicen: “Eres el cambio, sé el cambio.” Y veo a tanta gente joven verdaderamente lanzándose a la grandeza. Es muy emocionante. COVID-19 y el resurgimiento del movimiento por las vidas afroamericanas me han inspirado a repasar y pensar en cada aspecto de mi carrera. He intentado reimaginar lo que quiero crear, y quiero asegurarme que la intención de ayudar a los demás sea parte del ADN de todo proyecto de Becky G, ya sea producción, cine, televisión o música. Quiero ser parte de ese cambio.
What About DWTS Was Weirdest? Is Conners Romance Kaput? No One Noticed Lovecraft Skin? And More Qs
We’ve got questions, and you’ve (maybe) got answers! With another week of TV gone by, we’re lobbing queries left and right about shows including Lovecraft Country, Dancing With the Stars, Saturday Night Live and The Mandalorian!
1 | We know Julie and the Phantoms is a kid-friendly show, but were you surprised/frustrated that the entire season unfolded without a single kiss?
2 | On The Duchess (spoiler alert for all episodes!), do you suspect Katherine’s new baby might actually belong to Dr. Evan, after their unprotected (albeit brief) sex in Episode 2? And in Episode 5, were you surprised Netflix left in so much footage of The Handmaid’s Tale, when it airs on rival streamer Hulu?
3 | Watching Lovecraft Country‘s “body swap” episode, were you distracted by practical concerns like: Did no one notice all these piles of excess skin lying around?
4 | Power Book II: Ghost fans: Were you bummed to see Dexter‘s David Zayas dispatched with so quickly? Uncle Frank didn’t even last an episode!
5 | Which aspect of Dancing With the Stars‘ pandemic-friendly ballroom was weirdest to witness: The contestants watching each other from the rafters with lots of social distance between them… the extra-lonnnng judges’ table… or the piped-in cheers and boos from a nonexistent audience? And did you cringe when new host Tyra Banks (unsuccessfully) tried to pass off Len Goodman’s clearly pre-taped message as live?
6 | As much as we enjoyed ABC’s wordplay-filled promo for The Bachelorette, aren’t “Clare-ity,” “Clare-ify” and “Clare-ification” all the same pun?
7 | Could ABC’s promos for the unscripted Emergency Call any more pointedly aim to mimic Fox’s 9-1-1?
8 | In ABC’s (cough) “non-partisan” #VOMO: Vote or Miss Out comedy special, who do you think was the “pizza,” and who was the “soup,” in J. B. Smoove’s school cafeteria analogy? And were you more surprised by just how many celebs appeared on stage, alongside Kevin Hart, or by the inclusion of a (distanced) studio audience?
9 | Watching the Mandalorian trailer, how hard did you laugh when the Child smartly retreated into his domed pram, sensing that a whistling birds attack was imminent?
10 | Is Paramount+ really the best name that ViacomCBS could come up with for the rebranded CBS All Access? And what’s with all the pluses (see also: Apple TV+, Disney+)? Hulu dropped the “Plus” years ago!
11 | How disappointed do you think Saturday Night Live‘s main ensemble is that the current president and entire Democratic ticket are all being played by non-cast members this season?
12 | Mom fans, are you hoping to see more of Will Sasso as Jill’s boyfriend Andy in Season 8, now that his ABC sitcom United We Fall has been cancelled?
13 | NBC pretty conspicuously removed the “The” from the title of its Weakest Link adaptation — and yet promo guy says “The Weakest Link.” So… which is it?
14 | Conners fans, how worried are you about the fate of Dan and Louise’s relationship now that ABC has handed a series order to Katey Sagal’s legal drama Rebel?
15 | If Stumptown hadn’t seen its Season 2 renewal reversed this week, who would you have cast as Dex and Ansel’s long-estranged mom? And at a certain point, given all the recent rescinded new seasons, should we report a TV show’s renewal as a “renewal”?
16 | Though we loved the ACM Awards’ approach — spread the performances across several Nashville country-music landmarks — couldn’t the show have ditched the Google Earth animation after the first couple of uses?
17 | Is Big Brother “Small Stars” quite possibly one of the worst seasons in the show’s history? Do you wish Tyler had been evicted instead of Ian, just so we could’ve seen a flipped vote and some fireworks? Lastly, are you tired of the show giving houseguests “good edits” when the feeds show something entirely different? (Lookin’ at you, Nicole!)
18 | If you could drop one Departure subplot, would it be The Tragic Accident From Kendra’s Past or Kendra’s Problematic Stepson? Also, don’t you wish Manifest — in which a plane time traveled! — involved a fraction of the investigation as this show?
19 | In the first of this Thursday’s Raised by Wolves episodes, what kept the Mithraics from at least trying to chop up Mother while she was synced to her pod? Why even give her the option of waking up?
20 | What, was “DC Universe+” taken?
21 | Were The Boys moving about too freely in public during Episode 5, considering they’re wanted by the authorities? (Someone could have recognized Butcher while he was walking Terror!) And are you still reeling from Kimiko ripping off that gangster’s face? (We’ll spare you the screencap.)
22 | During the latest Ted Lasso, did you pick up on the fact that — spoiler alert! — the photographer who captured Roy and Keeley’s first date was also the photog Rebecca hired earlier this season to take compromising photos of Ted and Keeley? Or were you genuinely surprised when Keeley marched into Rebecca’s office to confront her, having found the previous tabloid snaps on the photographer’s memory card?
23 | Do you feel for Drew Barrymore trying to launch a quirky daytime talk show in these times, without a studio audience and the positive reinforcement that comes from their reactions?
Hit the comments with your answers — and any other Qs you care to share!
Rogue Company’s incredible story revealed
Publisher Hi-Rez Studios has a rich history with free-to-play titles. As a company that’s “all about games,” its portfolio includes not only Rogue Company but Smite, Paladins, and Realm Royale. Smite, available on PC and modern consoles, has proven a particular success. Former Hi-Rez CEO Erez Goren discussed this in a 2013 Reddit post, stating, “Smite is one of those rare games that’s actually growing every month, and is also profitable.” Additionally, he mentioned the interest of many outside publishers, including Tencent, and described the massive company as “the most prestigious partner we can have for our type of game.“
With Smite, Hi-Rez has familiarized itself with the saturated esports arena, though the company’s humbler beginnings include 2010’s Global Agenda and 2012’s Tribes: Ascend, both of which are free-to-play multiplayer titles, with the latter releasing to a decent reception. While Rogue Company is a different type of free-to-play multiplayer experience, Hi-Rez has reliably nurtured its other properties, most notably Smite, to the point of profitability.
Trump Says He Was Unaware of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Death
Donald Trump gave a political speech Friday night about the Supreme Court and its power regarding “the sanctity of life” and the second amendment … before learning that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died.
Shortly after the announcement of the death of RBG, President Trump held a rally in Bemidji, Minnesota, where he spoke about the importance of the Supreme Court and the Justices on its bench in the matters of abortion rights and gun rights.
Moments later, as “Tiny Dancer” played in the background, Trump was standing under a wing of Air Force One speaking with the press when he seemed surprised to find out Ginsburg had passed, saying, “She just died? Wow, I didn’t know that. She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman, whether you agree or not. She was an amazing woman who led an amazing life.”
Watch the clip above.
But the crowd at the rally where Trump spoke for more than 90 minutes knew of the beloved justice’s death. “You could hear people in [the] crowd shouting that Ginsburg had died but he didn’t seem to hear them,” PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor said.
“We will defend the dignity of work and the sanctity of life. That’s why the Supreme Court is so important,” Trump said at the campaign rally, according to Alcindor. “The next president will get one, two, three or four Supreme Court justices. I had two. Many presidents have had none. They’ve had none because they are there for a long time. They tend to be appointed young. They are there for a long time. But the next one will have anywhere from one to four. Think of that. That will totally change when you talk about life, when you talk about the second amendment.”
He went on to say, “When you talk about things that are so important to you. You’re going to be stuck for 40 years, 35 years, a long time. So this is going to be the most important election, in my opinion, in the history of our country. You’ve got to get it right because if you don’t get it right, we will not have a country anymore.”
More than 30 minutes before Trump spoke, the White House flag had been lowered to half-staff in memory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Trump’s senior communications adviser Ben Williamson tweeted 30 minutes before Trump’s speech.
ABC News reported that Trump is expected to announce a nominee to fill Ginsburg’s seat in the coming days. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said following Ginsburg’s death, “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
He explained, “In the last midterm election before Justice Scalia’s death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame-duck president’s second term. We kept our promise. Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year,” McConnell said in a statement following Ginsburg’s death.
“By contrast, Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary. Once again, we will keep our promise.”
Statement from the President on the Passing of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pic.twitter.com/N2YkGVWLoF
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2020
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