Chocolate Remix: the lesbian reggaeton artist taking on Argentina’s ‘supermachos’

Reggaeton is almost as notorious for its dodgy words as its dancehall rhythms. But in Argentina, one dame is busting sex inhibition and outswaggering the men

The founding fathers of the testosterone-fuelled Latin pop genre reggaeton would probably be surprised to hear their penis described as superfluous. But this is the sense from Chocolate Remix, a tiny Argentinian dame in a big cap taking aim at the supermachos in her single, Lo Que Las Mujeres Quieren. Hey macho reggaeton husband, listen to what I do/ You dont know about females/ A dame elevates two well-placed fingers.

This is lesbian reggaeton, and Choco, its swaggering colonist, is one of a rising number of female reggaetoneras changing the male-dominated category from inside. An established talent in Buenos Aires alternative place, Choco remains reggaetons characterizing dembow tempoand perreo ( the doggy-style grinding dance culture) but uses the words to satirise machismo and bust the inhibition of female solace and lesbian copulation. She too revisits reggaetons homophobic beginnings and rewrites the songs for a fag public.

Choco might be a badass on stagecoach but at home she is Romina Bernardo, a softly worded 31 -year-old former IT programmer from Argentinas small north-eastern district of Tucumn. She now lives in Buenos Aires with her two “cat-o-nine-tails”. Between cautious sips of rug( a lettuce tea beloved in the southern cone ), Choco explains how she adoration reggaeton when it arrived in the guilds in the 00 s, a decade after it came out of the barrios of Puerto Rico where underground craftsmen first fused Jamaican dancehall rhythms with Spanish words. Yet she disliked the words. In reggaeton, a lot of songs talking here copulation. I thought it would be great to use it to talk about another type of copulation, she suggests, adding: Lesbian reggaeton was a kind of joke.

Chocolate Remix( centre) performing live. Photograph: Victoria Schwindt

But the laughter soon became serious. Choco started producing and uploading her songs in 2013, but with brand-new book, Stira( Satire ), released in March, as well as a forthcoming European tour, its now a full-time place. The albums title alludes to the randy figure of Greek mythology, while its envelop illustrates Choco in a wedding dress with chocolate slandered over her throat. The theory is to introduce something that generates confusion, she suggests, simulating a shocked look. Are you a lesbian? Oh my God, is that chocolate? Stira comprises seven lines most of which have a ponderous dosage of reggaetons signature tinny percussion and synth-led tunes, over which Choco hip-hops in cloudbursts of staccato and sometimes squeaky Spanish.

In the video for Cmo Me Gusta a Mi( How I Like It) Choco trills gaily I like cheaters/ I like ugly daughters as the camera pans over a neverending couch of naked women around the different stages of copulation. Sexual and government freeing are each side of the same copper: I like the empowered dame/ But I like it even better if she snacks this empanada .( In Spanish, sanctioned empoderada rhymes neatly with empanada , a type of Argentinian pasty and slang for female genitalia .)

There was, however, a reaction from women who said her definite videos and songs, just like those of male craftsmen, were objectifying females. It was a sensitive subject at the time. If you determined a women around mini-shorts parties were like Argh! Thats machismo, illustrates Choco. I supposed, its great we are analysing this stuff, but what we are doing is putting more inhibition on copulation. She too bumped up against an element of classism reggaeton is footed in street culture and is often written off as ribald. The theory of progress for middle-class Argentinians is that that you shouldnt be a bitch, you should be intellectual and go to university, she says.

What is revolutionary in Cmo Me Gusta a Mi is not the nudity but the originality of a reggaeton video full of the status of women enjoying themselves , no husband in sight. In the 25 times since reggaetons inception, females are normally merely been present in half-naked, decorative flesh, giving merely the quirky rustle of Ay papi . In 2012, the Cuban government even tried to ban it from the airwaves for painting females as grotesque sex objectives( predictably, this only succeeded in increasing its vogue) and last year the misogynistic words in Colombian megastar Malumas song Cuatro Babys led to a petition for him to attract the song.

Female reggaeton craftsmen have always contended for visibility. A noticeable exception is Ivy Queen, whose 2003 touched Quiero Bailar protected women liberty on the dancefloor. She paved the action for todays generation of female DIY reggaeton artists such as Argentinian Ms Nina los Santos, Chilean Tomasa del Real and San Franciscan balladeer La Favi, who are building their own fanbases on SoundCloud and YouTube. Choco links these craftsmen, along with Catalan Bad Gyal, the rising Colombian virtuoso Farina and the Madrid-based radical Tremenda Jaura, as part of a feminist new wave, though they themselves may not use the label. I guess its a mini-movement, she suggests. Currently reggaeton is the most popular music at all the feminist parties.

Explicit material : Chocolate Remix accomplishes Lo Que Las Mujeres Quieren( What Women Require)

Chocolate Remix undertakes homophobia and gender violence. Reggaetons homophobic beginnings stem from Shabba Rankss 1991 hymn Dem Bow( implying theyre gay ), which was the first trail to use the unmistakable rhythm tempo that became reggaetons linchpin. I took this song and I remade it to say Im bent and Im proud, Choco illustrates. Ni Una Menos( Not one less) was compose for Argentinas feminist warriors and takes its word from the banner under which they took to the streets in October 2016 to protest at the countrys offending frequency of hate crimes against females. Over a thumping cajn rhythm, the words If she depicts her lips/ Dances to reggaeton/ Leaves you for another are interspersed by chorus of ni una meno s. It is a tribal call to limbs. Choco is immediate to point out that the problem is not specific to Latin America. When she worked in Europe, in IT, the gender inequality among collaborators was affecting: We sometimes consider machoism is simply opposing with your wife, she suggests, but there are a lot of things that no one sees.

Despite putting two well-placed paws up at the reggaeton establishment, Chocolate remains a huge follower of the categories megastars such as Daddy Yankee. Hes not the bad guy, she suggests, he is just face the macho culture. Would she be his support deed? Of direction! But right now I dont consider my music is interesting to his audience. Im presenting an alternative but Im too suggesting fuck off. She sees the concert: Im there roaring, Your dick is not important Maybe with some years of talking and with some assistance from psychologists, they could accept it.

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