YG's Latest Video Invokes Debate Over What Constitutes Cultural Appropriation
Some say the rapper is honoring Mexican culture while others say he's appropriating it.
Twitter and Instagram are heavily divided on their feelings about YG's latest video for his new single "Go Loko."
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Some enjoyed the DJ Mustard-produced banger and thought the song's video honored different aspects of Mexican culture. However, some did not feel the same way. Others said YG was culturally appropriating the Mexican aesthetic and slammed his decision not to feature a Mexican rapper on the song.
The new single from the California native features Tyga and Puerto Rican rapper Jon Z. YG's latest single dropped on Cinco de Mayo weekend and caused a stir on social media.
I like that new Go Loko song by YG and all but how you make a heavily Mexican inspired song/video and put a Puerto Rican rapper on it instead of a Mexican rapper? Lol— G-U (@GU_509) May 6, 2019
"TO ME it feels like pandering because he knows he has a huge latinx fan base, but if you’re gonna pander to us you can include us too," Felix said in followup posts. She added that there are a ton of Mexican rappers who could have benefited from being on the song.
i love YG but i think it’s really wack he went that crazy with mexican culture in that new video and didn’t have a mexican rapper on the song....like wut...— Raven Felix (@RavenFelix) May 3, 2019
"And don’t come at me w/ the “well POC rappers do it with black culture so shutup!!!” yes i know, and i don’t think that shit is cool AT ALL either. but an eye for an eye makes us both blind."
Who let YG do the “Go Loko” video?? That shit is disrespectful. Would you be upset if Mexicans did a parody about Black culture??— The Trap Selena (@MsLoyaltyTS) May 6, 2019
everyone defending yg with the argument of “mexicans use the n word” sound fucking stupid. you don’t dress as a mariachi when you’re not hispanic. not EVERY hispanic says the n word. only the ignorant ones.— julissa (@julissabnava) May 3, 2019
On the other side, there were many Twitter users who felt it wasn't a big deal and enjoyed the video. Some said Mexican culture is an integral part of LA culture now and that gave YG the right to include it in his video.
If u Mexican and hating on YG wearing a mariachi suit u can fuck all the way off. Y’all the same ones throwing around the N word like it’s all good— ANTDAWG (@yunghormiga) May 3, 2019
sooooo... I’m aware that there are ppl offended if Yg’s most recent attire for his single “Go Loko” as if the originators of the whole mariachi back in the 18th century didn’t have African descendants 🤧 ok lol— Nylah Iman (@AmazingIman) May 3, 2019
In certain scenes, YG, Tyga and Jon Z all don mariachi wear. In other scenes, the trio can be found in other clothes native to Mexican culture in Los Angeles. Some Black Latinos defended YG by saying it was extremely common for non-Black Latinos to use n***a heavily and appropriate aspects of African American culture.
Eduardo Cepeda of Remezcla said both cultures seemed to draw things from each other. He also mentioned that generally appropriation comes from one race that is dominating the other. However, that is not the case in this situation.
"Ultimately, the clip does raise a lot of questions about what is the proper way to approach use of another culture, but questions of appropriation generally involve a marginalized community’s culture being used by a systemically dominant group," he said.
"Though there certainly are separate experiences and nuances to the way in which Black and Mexican cultures have been marginalized, to say that one of the cultures is in a significant place of power over the other would be inaccurate."
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