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Meet La SalvadoReina, The Salvadoran Queen Of Cumbia-Hip Hop

She wears gold hoops, red lipstick and a Salvadoran flag around her neck. She’s La SalvadoReina, the latest Latina superheroine, and she’s saving the party with her cumbia jams.

It’s not an easy feat. Reyna Zavala, the Washington, D.C.-native and San Antonio, Texas-living singer behind La SalvadoReina, says most people link the genre to an old country, an elder relative or a former time — not exactly the music you blast to enliven a crowd of 20-somethings.

“‘That’s viejito shit,’ they say, but I love it,” Zavala, 25, tells FIERCE. “It’s a genre that’s still alive, and I want people to know that.”

Slowly but surely…that's my attitude! #CUMBIA #Chingona

A post shared by Reyna Zavala (@lasalvadoreina) on

Zavala is among a growing number of young artists breathing new life into cumbia, a classic Latino rhythm and dance originating from the Caribbean coast of Colombia that mixes African, Spanish and indigenous beats. Most recently, acts like Bomba Estéreo, Pernett and Frente Cumbiero are melding the traditional rhythms with electronic synths to create electro-tropical and electro cumbia, but U.S.-based artists prefer fusing the classic sounds with genres they grew up listening to in the States. For Zavala, that’s hip-hop.

“It was my sophomore year of college, 2013, when it officially started. My friend was my beat-maker, and I told him I wanted to do cumbia and rap.

At the time, I fell in love with Mala Rodriguez, who was combining flamenco with hip-hop, and that’s what did it for me,” she said.

One year later, Zavala, who began taking classes at the D.C. hip-hop nonprofit Words Beats & Life Inc., dropped “Cumbia Capital,” an ode to the massive Salvadoran population in the District.

The music video, which features Zavala bigging up Washingtonian Salvadorans while dancing in front of popular D.C. monuments and buildings as well as pupuserias and carnivals, received praise throughout the capital, enough to prompt the up-and-comer to take cumbia music seriously.

“People really, really loved it, and they wanted more,” she said.

It was a vocation no one saw coming — not even her.

“I never thought I was going to be a musician. If you told me that, I would have laughed. I was such a geek, and so obedient, always listening to my parents,” she said giggling.

Her parents wanted her to be a lawyer or a politician, so Zavala initially studied international affairs at American University, thinking she’d work at the Consulate De El Salvador, before transferring into public communications.

“But later I was like, I want to do this, music, and my family was shocked. I was such an introvert,” she added.

still my favorite #cumbia ???

A post shared by Reyna Zavala (@lasalvadoreina) on

The career shift shouldn’t have been such a surprise to Zavala’s mom and dad, after all, she quips, they’re responsible for it. She grew up surrounded by cumbia, with its traditional two-step danced during weddings, baptisms, house parties and cleaning days.

Her father, Wilson Zavala, is even a cumbia promotor. She remembers him regularly putting together community events and selling pupusas in order to raise funds to fly bands from El Salvador to D.C.

“I’d wake up and an orquesta would be eating breakfast in the kitchen,” she said, fondly reminiscing about her youth.

He’d then organize big parties that were attended by Latinos throughout the District as well as Virginia and Maryland. But the shows did more than maintain culture and community. They were a part of her father’s nonprofit, ACOSAL-USA, which sent concert proceeds to his pueblo in El Salvador. Back in their motherland, the D.C. performances funded a soccer academy and rehab center, helped kids obtain school supplies and taught Zavala that music should always seek to empower.

As a musician, a title that still feels strange to her, she writes and performs songs that celebrate Latinos, especially Salvadorans, who she says have long been underrepresented in arts and entertainment.

my love ???

A post shared by Reyna Zavala (@lasalvadoreina) on

“I want to speak to the little girls, the ones who, like me, are thinking, why are there no Salvadorans. It’s about representation and visibility,” she said. “But it’s also our voice. It’s the soundtrack of our movement and, sometimes, the escape from our reality.”

After taking a year off to hone her style, study singing and produce new material, Zavala is ready to pick up where she left off — and she is claiming 2018 as her year. The singer-rapper will soon release a single produced by Jean-Louis Colonne and hopes to drop her debut album in the months to come.

“My world is a cumbia world, and I’m just trying to be happy and make people feel good. I want them to dance cumbia, and I want them to support cumbia,” she said.

Follow La SalvadoReina on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and stay tuned for new music from the artist coming soon.

READ: This Afro-Latina’s Album Is For The Brown Girl’s Intersectional Feminist Movement

Let us know your favorite new cumbia bands in the comments below.

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Video Dug Up From Cardi B’s Past Shows Her Saying She Used To Drug And Rob Men

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Video Dug Up From Cardi B’s Past Shows Her Saying She Used To Drug And Rob Men

Stay grateful you did not grow up in the era of Snapchat/ Instagram/ Facebook kids because you can delete but your recorded actions can still come back to bite. Cardi B knows the story. While the Afro-Latina queen of Trap isn’ making any apologies, the latest video to be dug up from her past is requiring her to give some answers.

Video of the singer, recalling a time in her life in which she felt forced to drug and rob men while seducing them has resurfaced.

Over the weekend, video of the “Money” rapper recalling how she used to drug and rob men resurfaced.

The video, which was recorded during an Instagram live broadcast, sees Cardi as she goes on a tearful verbal tirade about her past. This after, someone apparently questioned her success and accused her of not “putting in no fucking work.”

“I had to go ‘oh yeah, you wanna fuck me? Yeah yeah yeah let’s go to this hotel.’ And then I’d drug [expletivie] up and I’d rob them. That’s what I used to do.”

Users online were quick to comment.

“The fact that cardi b admitted to drugging and robbing men she would take back to a hotel for sex blows my mind,” wrote Twitter user @itsangelaa. “That’s not ‘keeping it real.’ that’s a crime.”

“I wonder what woulda happened if it were the other way round,” @BTSisthecauseo5 commented.

At the onset of the backlash, the rapper seemed to take the comments rather lightly.

The following day she also tweeted “IM THAT BITCH THEY LOVE TO HATE, IM THAT BITCH THEY HATE TO LOVE and I love it.”

On Tuesday, however, after users on Instagram and Twitter continued to simmer, she was forced to issue comment.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bve_d3sFet7/

In a post to her Instagram, the rapper responded to the comments about the video by saying: “I’m a part of a hip hop culture where you can talk about where you come from talk about the wrong things you had to do to get where you are.”


Read:After Two Parkland Students Commit Suicide, Community Unites To Share Mental Health Resources

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🤩 20 Remarkable Mementos You’ll See at the Selena Museum

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🤩 20 Remarkable Mementos You’ll See at the Selena Museum

In 1995, the world lost the Queen of Tejano music, Selena Quintanilla Perez. Immediately following her death, mass vigils were held around the Latinidad to honor our lost reina. After her death, fans turned to her music for consolation and relief as they mourned the musician. Even after 24 years, the superstar is still grieved and celebrated by her fans.

Festivals are held around the world each year in honor of Selena’s birthday, life and death. Murals of the Queen of Tejano still grace neighborhoods from Texas to California to Mexico. Even international brands like MAC Cosmetics, Forever 21 and Target still collaborate with Selena’s estate to bring fans new merchandise.

While these all immortalize Selena’s legacy, there’s only one museum in the world dedicated to the Queen of Tejano.

In Selena’s hometown of Corpus Christi Texas — only a few miles from her final resting place — is Q Productions. Founded in 1993, Q Productions is the actual studio Selena recorded in with her father, Abraham, and Los Dinos. While it’s still an operating studio, the big draw of the location is the Selena Quintanilla Museum. Featuring mementos, collectables and memories from the iconic Latina’s life and career, it’s a visit that every Selena fan should make.

Here are some of the remarkable artifacts you will find at the Selena Museum.

1. Selena’s red convertible

The Selena Museum

It’s now over 30 years old, but this racy red convertible was Selena’s favorite car. In fact, before she bought the 1986 Porsche, she purchased a new black Porsche hatchback instead. However, something just didn’t vibe for the Queen of Tejano and she traded that one in for this older model. It could be because it’s paint job matches the Latina’s signature red lip but this ride just says, “Selena.”

2. The entire Selena MAC makeup line

The Selena Museum

In 2016, international makeup company MAC Cosmetics launched a line inspired by Selena. The Selena MAC collection was so well received that it sold out online within HOURS. The full line is on display at the Selena Museum — sporting products with names like “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” “Missing My Baby” and “No Me Queda Mas.”

3. Selena’s fashion sketches

The Selena Museum

Anyone who has seen Selena knows that the musician had an incredible sense of style. She had first-hand input in her styling because she designed many of her most iconic looks. Had she not become a musician, Selena wanted to become a fashion designer. In fact, before her death, Selena had opened two boutiques — one in Corpus Christi and one in San Antonio. Another was planned for Monterrey, Mexico however it was never built. Following her death, both locations closed but you can still see the sketches that started it all.

4. Selena’s childhood dolls

The Selena Museum

It’s easy to forget that the legendary Queen of Tejano started off as a little girl, singing songs to her father’s guitar. These sweet reminders of her childhood give us a glimpse into the Selena that only her family know. The baby doll and old Raggedy Anne are toys saved by Selena’s parents and immortalized in the museum. To them, she will always be their little girl.

5. Fan mail from around the world

The Selena Museum

Selena got her start in South Texas but soon achieved stardom that reached around the world. At the Selena Museum, you’ll find devoted fan mail from places like Japan, Uruguay, Peru, Hungary and New Zealand. You can still send fan mail to Q Productions and share your own love and appreciation for Selena.

6. An original manuscript for “Selena”

The Selena Museum

Soon after Selena’s death in 1995, studios began vying for the rights to Selena’s life. The Quintanilla Family wanted to make sure Selena’s spirit was especially respected in any depiction of the departed musician. With this in mind, they became very involved in the film of her life. In 1997, “Selena” debuted to critical acclaim and would arguably be the role that made Jennifer Lopez’s career. At the Selena Museum, you’ll find an original manuscript for the screenplay that would become “Selena.”

7. Selena’s famous bustiers

The Selena Museum

Before pop stars’ became more open with baring a little skin, Selena made the bustier a staple for her wardrobe. Much to her dad Abraham’s dismay, Selena came up with design herself. The fashionista would sow sequins onto regular bras for a show-stopping look. It’s a good thing that Abe eased his anti-bustier stance. They’re further proof that Selena was a star ahead of her time.

8. Selena’s egg collection

The Selena Museum

If you’ve seen “Selena,” you know the Queen of Tejano had an odd little collection. She liked to collect eggs; specifically, Faberge eggs. The Russian treasures are a luxury that Selena adored and the singer had plenty in her collection. In case you’re curious, the collection DOES NOT include that egg ring from She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named.

9. Selena’s Grammy dress

The Selena Museum

Since fashion is such an essential part of who she was, the Selena Museum has several of the late star’s iconic outfits. One that’s exceptionally gorgeous is the Lillie Rubin white sequin dress she wore to the Grammys. You might remember that legendary scene in “Selena” with the rude boutique clerk and swarm of fans. That scene was inspired by a memorable shopping trip in Houston to buy that dress.

10. Collectable Selena dolls

The Selena Museum

Raise your hand if you had one of these babies as a kid. Selena has been memorialized in several different ways but the different collectable dolls made in her image may be the most awesome. At the Selena Museum, there is a collection of six Selena dolls — all sporting one of her signature looks.

11. The studio Selena used to record her final album

The Selena Museum

Q Productions has been a working studio since it’s opening in the 90s. To this day, it still accommodates musicians but Selena was their first ever recording artist. Infact, Selena recorded her final album — “Dreaming of You” — at Q Productions.

12. And the very microphone she used, too

The Selena Museum

Including Suzette’s first drum kit and Abraham’s prized piano, Q Productions has many treasures on display. One you’ll be able to see is the very mic Selena used to record “Dreaming of You.” The album debuted number 1 on the Billboard 200; the first ever predominantly Spanish-language album to do so.

13. The outfit from the cover of “Amor Prohibido”

The Selena Museum

One of Selena’s most iconic looks is the fierce leather and lace outfit featured on the album cover for “Amor Prohibido.” This album proved to be one of Selena’s biggest. Besides being a solid listen from start to finish, it also features hits “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” “Yo Me Queda Más” and “Techno Cumbia.” The popularity of this album ensured that Selena will forever be remembered for this look.

14. Selena’s Grammy

The Selena Museum

For all of Selena’s talent and popularity, she was honored with many awards in her career. The prize of that collection is the 1994 Grammy she won for Best Mexican/American Album. This Grammy made history for the first win by a female Tejano singer. There’s no telling how many more of these she would have won had her life not been cut tragically short.

15. The plaque honoring Selena’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Selena Museum

In 2017, Selena was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The ceremony drew 4,500 fans — the largest gathering to ever attend an unveiling. This plaque was presented to the Quintanilla family to commemorate the historic event and moreover recognize Selena’s legacy.

16. Buckles celebrating Selena’s Houston Rodeo preformances

The Selena Museum

Selena played the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo a total of three times. While all three concerts drew huge crowds, her 1995 appearance broke attendance records for the Houston Astrodome. Following the concerts, these commemorative belt buckles were presented to Selena to celebrate her successful shows.

17. A custom Selena guitar from the Fiesta de la Flor

The Selena Museum

Every year, celebrations of Selena’s life happen all over the world. One such event happens in Corpus Christi. Since 2014, Fiesta de la Flor — an event with music, food, a mercado and all things Chicano — has been held for Selena’s memory. At the Selena Museum, you can see a custom guitar that bares the Queen of Tejano’s face from the event.

18. Selena’s jewelry collection

As someone who lived for fashion, it’s only natural that Selena would love a good accessory. The Selena Museum has on display a large collection of jewelry owned and worn by the musician herself. Some items were gifts from loved ones like husband Chris, while others were gifted by fans.

19. Condolence letters from world figures

The Selena Museum

When Selena passed away, the whole world mourned. The loss of such a vibrant, beautiful and kind young woman was such a tragedy that even world leaders took notice. On display at the Selena Museum are several noted condolence letters from the likes of Larry King, President Bill Clinton, and then-Texas Governor George W. Bush.

20. Selena’s famous purple jumpsuit

Remember that record-breaking performance at the Houston Rodeo? Even if you’ve never seen footage of the big event, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen Selena’s look from that night. The famous purple jumpsuit she wore to the 1995 Houston Rodeo has become the most recognizable outfit from Selena’s memorable wardrobe. At the Selena Museum, you can take a selfie with it and immortalize your love for the Queen of Tejano.

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