Chicanx genre-bending band Las Cafeteras invites listeners to visualize an equitable future of their own creation in the video for “If I Was President,” which premiered yesterday (April 26) via Democracy Now!
The song from the group’s 2017 album, “Tastes Like L.A.,” jumps between Spanish singing and English rapping as members Denise Carlos, Hector Flores, Leah Gallegos and Daniel French each reflect on the oppression they would change if they became president. Here are a few of the lyrics, with translations added to the Spanish-language passages:
- Señor Presidente, le vengo avisar
no tengo papeles para trabajar
Señor Presidente, pregunto por que
matan al Moreno con piel de café
[Mr. President, I came to warn you, I don’t have papers to work, Mr. President I ask why/ you all kill Black man with Brown skin]
- Me gusta la lima, me gusta limón
Pero no me gusta tanta corrupción
[I like lemon, I like lime, but I don’t like so much corruption]
We’d free my poor Black and Brown kidsThat got caught up in three strikes
And when they get out, they getting free bikesSo they can ride to their future, not their past
First thing, I’d sit you down with your abuelita
Rewrite history so our kids can see
Where we came from and their new destiny
From Flint to Cali water flowing pure and free
The music video features band members performing in high school halls and East Los Angeles streets as Brown and Black students skateboard, play instruments, make chalk art and create their own band around them.
Watch the “If I Was President” video above.