Becky G Talks New Album ‘Esquinas,’ A Proud ‘200 Percenter’s’ Journey into the Heart of Mexican Music (2024)

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From a rapper to a reggaetón-pop hitmaker, Becky G‘s musical journey has been nothing short of eclectic. On Friday (Sept. 29), the artist unveiled a new chapter in her ever-evolving career, as she dropped the mesmerizing Mexican music album Esquinas — a sincere exploration of her identity as a proud “200 percenter”: 100% Mexican, 100% American. Her third studio album is a tribute to her roots, and a celebration of her identity.




Becky G

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Growing up in Inglewood, Calif., Becky G found inspiration in the rich tapestry of regional Mexican music, a source of deep connection since childhood. Her musical tastes, spanning from R&B to country to rancheras, led her to declare herself a genre-defying artist. “Music is a universal language — it feels limitless, it feels like I can create with intention, no matter the sound, no matter the language,” she tells Billboard Español.

With Esquinas, she embarks on a journey of rediscovery, delving into her Chicana roots, a tribute influenced by her abuelitos who encouraged her to explore regional Mexican music. It’s a full-circle moment where her diverse influences coalesce into a heartfelt homage to her heritage.

Featuring classic música mexicana covers, and an impressive cast of guests including Yahritza y Su Esencia, Ivan Cornejo, DannyLux, Peso Pluma and more, the album beautifully encapsulates her identity— a convergence of cultures, languages, and flags — at the crossroads of her rich and diverse experiences.

Becky G sat down with Billboard Español to discuss this new project.

You debuted as a rapper, then you became a reggaetón-pop hitmaker. Today you released a regional Mexican music album.

It’s been quite the journey, girlfriend. Para mí desde niña la música regional siempre me inspiraba (Since I was a little girl regional Mexican music always inspired me). I grew up listening to all kinds of music in English and Spanish: from R&B, country, reggaetón and rancheras — and everything in between. I consider myself a genre-less artist, and I love that about my creativity. I’ve even done a K-pop fusion.

Music is a universal language. It feels limitless — it feels like I can create with intention, no matter the sound, no matter the language, si es en español, o si es en inglés (be it in Spanish, or be it in English.)

How did you come up with the title, Esquinas?

I’ve always felt like I’m not this side or that side of the street. I am literally la esquina (the corner). La esquina is where those cross streets meet — where those two languages, those two flags, and the two cultures [reside.] When I close my eyes and I think of what I experienced in my culture growing up, to capture that essence as close as I can to when I was a little girl is really important to me. Even the city that I grew up in is changing so much. So it’s a very intentional body of work, from the visuals and song selections to all of the collaborators. [Producer and songwriter] Edgar Barrera is family to me, and he really helped create a sound that represents me in this space. I feel like you can really hear me and see me in this album.

You’ve pulled up some amazing guests on your new album: Peso Pluma, Gabito Ballesteros… How do you select who to collaborate with?

Going back to creating something of our own as 200 percenters… There is this wave of fresh and authentic artists in the regional space, and we’re not necessarily erasing our traditions; we’re embracing tradition as well as giving it our own new school flair. I had my heart set on artists who interpret regional music in their own way, because I think that’s really how we’re going to continue to evolve and introduce it to the world. Obviously, it’s been around forever, but that was my intention.

When I worked with Peso y estuvimos en el estudio (and we were at the studio), we didn’t really have intentions. It was just to introduce each other. Then Edgar [Barrera] whips out a guitar, and next thing you know, we wrote [“Chanel”] in 45 minutes, así de la nada (just like that out of nowhere). It was instant chemistry between Peso and I. One of my favorite memories is working with Ivan Conejo on our song [“2ndo Chance”]. He almost canceled the studio session, ¡le tocó los nervios! (He got nervous!) He’s like, “I feel a little bit of pressure. I want to do a really good job. I’m going to be going on my first tour, and I just don’t want to let you down.” I was like, “Bro, you could literally come and we can eat In-N-Out and just hang. We don’t have to write anything. Let’s just vibe.” Then one thing leads to another and you start creating these beautiful friendships.

There are also a few Mexican oldies but goodies in the album.

Like any traditional regional project, you want to have some covers on there. I personally selected the covers that I did for the album. They either take me to a point in time in my life that remind me of my childhood or have such a deeper significance, even before I ever existed. One of those is “Cruz de Olvido.” It’s a song that my papi (grandpa) dedicated to my grandma when he was crossing over from Mexico to the United States. My grandma had her sons, she was left behind by the love of her life, so he could hopefully establish a better life for them — and to eventually cross them over as well.

“Cruz de Olvido” is one of the first mariachi songs that I ever learned. I have a video of me singing it to my papi on his birthday. I’m 12 years old, singing it in the front of my papi’s house in Inglewood. He is no longer here.

Stepping into this project, what did you rediscover? How did you reconnect with your heritage?

The essence of me being Chicana, born and raised in Inglewood, and being very proud of my Mexican roots, that’s always been there. Maybe it wasn’t at the forefront of my [creative work] or aesthetics. But as far as my essence and my being, I am who I am because of the culture that raised me. I’m very lucky to have had my abuelitos. All four were very present in my life for most of my childhood. Two years ago, when I lost my papi, my abuelito… he was kind of the catalyst as to why I decided it was time to do the project, because it has been a dream of mine since I was little. Yo siempre hablaba con ellos, they would be like, “mija, ¿y cuándo [harás] música regional? Es que cantas muy bonito cuando cantas con mariachi” (sweetheart, when will you [make] regional music? You sing very beautifully when you sing with mariachi). My grandma would make fun of me because when I would rap, she was like, “Ay mija, ¿por qué tan enojada?” (why so upset?) I’d be like, “Because I got s–t to say, grandma.” It’s so beautiful now. It feels very full-circle. It definitely feels like it’s a part of my soul when I sing música regional mexicana.

I remember watching you live at a Mexican festival a few years ago, and you said something beautiful: “I love my life in between two worlds representing two flags.” You are a proud 200 percenter. What does that mean?

I remember there was a moment in my life when I was like, “Man, 50/50 doesn’t cut it. Why do I have to give up half of myself to be accepted here, and then vice versa?” It doesn’t do what I feel in my heart justice to just cap it at 50% here, and 50% there. I’m 100% proud to be from Inglewood, but I’m also 100% proud to be Mexicana, to be Latina. I want to consider myself 200%. I feel like it’s something that a lot of youth who grew up in mixed ethnicity households can identify with.

I have friends who are Asian-American, African-American, and they’re like, “Girl, I hear all the time, I’m not enough this, or I’m not enough that.” [I wanted to] create a space for ourselves to be who we are, authentically. And as time goes on, hopefully the next generations can get more inspired to understand that nunca es tarde, it’s never too late to learn more about where we come from. For me, ser latina es más que hablar el idioma (to be Latina is more than to speak the language). I am so pocha (Mexican-American), and probably forever will be, but I’m going to own my pocha power. The fact that I can think in hybrid is really cool.

Becky G Talks New Album ‘Esquinas,’ A Proud ‘200 Percenter’s’ Journey into the Heart of Mexican Music (2024)


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