If Pedro Herrera III had as many albums as stage names, he’d be about as prolific as The Beatles. He’s been called the Masa Messiah and the Ghetto Vaquero. His first album dubbed him “The Tamale Kingpin”, and his go-to name to perform under is Chingo Bling. As it stands, Chingo Bling only has a few albums to his name, but they’ve already had more controversy attached to them than much more expansive discographies. His most successful album, “They Can’t Deport Us All”, has been decried by Latinos and conservatives alike for its messages concerning the immigration issue.
The whole debate over Chingo Bling’s intentions misses the fact that he’s a tireless independent rapper trying to translate his hardscrabble roots to a career in hip hop. Sure, he has a music video where he drizzles salsa over a woman dressed as a taco, but to Chingo Bling, it’s all a tongue-in-cheek reference to the stereotypes that Mexican Americans have to contend with. Chingo Bling is first generation Mexican American and comes from a family where his dad worked several automotive odd jobs and his mom sold tamales to make ends meet. Through a little marketing magic, Chingo Bling has turned this background in Mexican American culture into a stage persona that dons large black cowboy hats, wears flashy grills, and sports a gold pendant featuring a man, woman, and chicken running across the border. It’s all part of a mystique that Chingo Bling cultivates into a successful career of rapping about the Mexican American experience.
On July 23rd, Chingo Bling brings his music and famed tamales to The Volstead Lounge at Hotel Vegas where he’ll be performing a special DJ set with Peligrosa, the Austin Latin music and dance collective. Show up and get ready to party, dance, and laugh to a performer that’s truly unlike anything else. As an added gift, or regalo (we’re practicing our Spanish to get in the mood), you can click “I like it” on the event page for a chance to win a pair of free tickets to the show. Que bien!