Max Ocampo

Immigrant beats: M.A.K.U. to play Brooklyn at an important time

By 22 October, 2015

Let’s face it—it’s a fraught time for attitudes about immigration in the United States. No, I don’t mean immigrants are being screamed at or physically attacked on the streets – at least not outside of planned protests, but the reality is that the political rhetoric, and fear-mongering ideas spewed by a certain loud mouth candidate who sports a very bad combover, has ratcheted up the animus towards undocumented (and, by default, all) immigrants in the States.

We’ve decided there are a few things one can do to rise above the anger being spewed by many of these anti-immigrant types (Just look at this tweet and you’ll understand what we’re referring to):

Firstly, and for the long term, support grassroots organizations (the New York Immigrant Coalition is a good one) that do truly do good work for immigrants. Secondly, stay informed. For instance, listening to programs like Latino USA, which just put out this fantastic episode about the brave acts of the Dream 9, nine young undocumented activists who, in 2013, walked from Mexico up to border officials in the United States and demanded to be let in and granted asylum.

Third, and this one is more immediate, is go to a live show by New York City’s purveyors of #immigrantbeats: M.A.K.U. Soundsystem.

Our favorite band of immigrants and those who love them is playing Black Bear in Brooklyn tonight (the 22nd of October. (Watch this great bit on them via WNYC, where they discuss the predominantly immigrant Colombian community in Queens).

We’ll be there to dance! And, since we’re less than a week before the next Republican debate, where there will be no love lost for undocumented immigrants who keep this country going, we’re sharing MAKU’s immigrant labor anthem, “El Jugo.”

The video features members of M.A.K.U. getting up and hustling to get to a hard day’s work in New York City. The track even boasts Spanglish lyrics that are reminiscent of how some of the Big Apple’s hardest workers communicate at work–with a foot in two worlds, speaking to Spanish to co-workers and English as best as they can to bosses, who will often speak Spanglish right back to them.


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