Have you seen the “Menea feat. Cakes Da Killa” music video? It premiered on mun2, Telemundo‘s MTV-esque network today, and it’s pretty funny (click here if you can’t see the video above).
About “Menea”: The video was shot by the VidiViciTV crew at Fontana‘s, an awesome bar in Chinatown, NYC where many of my Nacotheque & Rico Suave parties have taken place, and in the director’s apartment. The lead role was played by the lovely and talented Calamity Chang, a well-known burlesque dancer, and the theme of the video was inspired by the Mexican fichera movies of the ’70s and ’80s (this clip is a great example). Also, because our budget was VERY small, I forced many of my friends to appear in it in exchange for bagels and pizza.
So fichera movies were basically mexploitation; a genre many men enjoyed because the films featured lots of dirty puns and boobs. Most were sexist, had terrible acting & writing, and were very low brow and low budget (just like the “Menea” video!). Some, like Bellas de Noche, where one of the main conflicts withing the plot is that a real woman is part of a nightclub’s dance troupe — and not just transvestites, the only ones considered to be “real” entertainers — is one of my favorites.
When I first started writing “Menea” — over two years ago — it had more of a cumbia thump, and the verses where supposed to be rapped by Liliana Saumet of Bomba Estéreo. I recorded Liliana’s vocals but, sadly, after transferring the session to a new computer, over half of her tracks became corrupted and unusable. I was very disappointed and ended up shelving the song for a while.
After Ulises and I agreed to work on music together, I dug up the old session and reworked “Menea” to sound more ’90s reggaeton (think El General or El Chombo) and less cumbia. That same week I went to an artsy loft party in Brooklyn where Cakes Da Killa was performing. I listened him, loved his performance, and asked him to collaborate on a “silly” song I was working on. Cakes agreed and a week later he was in my apartment rapping into a microphone in front of a blanket (I’m very DYI):
Cakes’ style — funny, irrelevant, sassy — fit the mood of song perfectly. Oddly, besides the tropical keyboard riff on the chorus, the final track became less ’90s reggaeton and more straight up pop once Uli reworked the song in his studio.
Well, that’s the story behind “Menea.” I hope you like the song — which, BTW, is available oniTunes, Spotify and Amazon right now — and, of course, the video.
Ah, and before I forget, the single’s cover is a photo of Calamity snapped by Javier Romero: