How can something be claimed dead when it still has life, when it's still living in speakers, iPods, as well as the hearts and souls of red-blooded American music lovers across the country? When it's still being passed on to younger generations?
In the track "Pimpin' Ain't No Illusion," Pimp C once rapped, "Pimpin aint' dead/ Nigga it just began." A girl pops on and sings, "How the fuck you know Sweet Jones?" To which Pimp C responds, "My hoes out there sellin' ass."
Mama didn't raise no fool. Like Pimp C, we were taught to believe what we see, not the hype. You know what hype is in this scenario? That Tejano is dead.
Tejano ain't dead. How do you know Rocks Off? Because this weekend we saw swarms, hell, seas of tens of thousands of people dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars on brisket, beer and concerts, to watch Tejano acts from across our great state at San Antonio's annual Fiesta celebration, the genre's equivalent to SXSW.
|The crowd at San Antonio's Fiesta celebration Sunday proved Tejano still has plenty of life.|
Back in the late 90's, there were claims that Tejano was dead and that it "went to the next place" with Selena. "Mexican-Americans don't spend money, they don't buy records, and they don't support their own community." We're sure statistical arguments could be made for all these statements, but maybe, just maybe, Tejano, like all other music genres, were at the beginning stages of suffering to Napster, Limewire and technology that let you rip music at no cost. Maybe it was just a nasty rumor that people believed as true, like Weapons of Mass Destruction. Maybe like all things in life, Tejano reached a dipping point but would rise up again.
Tejano bands exist in good numbers like taquerias on your block, they tour and people pay to see them. We've seen it with our own eyes as we've reengaged Tejano this last year, the music we grew up with, to test the theory that it was dead. It failed.
While the music may have fallen out of favor with corporate America, radio and music labels, because they believe it's more important to cater to Spanish-speaking Nortenos than English-speaking Tejanos, the music genre is far from dead. Its heartbeat pumps hard in the Alamo City with its pulse being felt in cities like Houston, Dallas, El Paso, Laredo and all the way to Arizona, Washington, and Nebraska, just to name a few.
So in other words, get your mind right and don't believe the hype.