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Mala Rodríguez: "I'm a bit of a beast, yes, but the beast comes out when I want to"


She was the first great Spanish rapper. Mala Rodríguez changed the rules of hip hop, in which men played repeating what other men had done before. When he thought that music was not going to give him anything else, he was vindicated by the new generations. We spent a day with her in Barcelona now that she is publishing a memoir. Unchained, foul-mouthed and forgetful.

La Mala is not well.

He lies on the bed of a hotel room in Barcelona.

She sighs, picks up the top of the



she's wearing, and shows off a pretty serious rash.

“It was finishing the last revision of the book and starting to get shit out of this in my belly.

They have spread over most of the body.

Yesterday I went to the emergency room, and I was thinking: 'Don't screw me, now that I have the photos, all this comes out.

At least it doesn't itch ”.

The book to which María Rodríguez (42 years old, Jerez de la Frontera) refers is

How to be Bad

(Temas de Hoy), the volume of memoirs published on June 30. The photos are those that illustrate this report. It has been an eight-hour session that began and ended in this hotel, the Casa Bonay, where he wrote a large part of the book. He lives with his children in a house on the slope of Tibidabo, but runs away when he needs concentration. During the day, several stops through Born and Raval that have complicated the rash and even an unexpected encounter with a ghost from the recent past of this pioneer of Spanish hip hop, the first woman to do many things in this country and the last artist that many thought that in 2021 it would be one of the most appreciated and claimed by the new generations.The success and validity of Mala Rodríguez —La Mala— is a message of hope for those who still believe in music as one of the few businesses in which the different can play on equal terms with the conventional.

How to be Bad

is not an ordinary memoir. From its structure, fragmented and non-linear, to the almost oral way in which it is written, passing through the way in which La Mala truffles anecdotes, reflections and vital positions on issues such as feminism, abortion or friendship. “The truth is that I have written about what I have remembered, and it has cost me a lot, to the point that the other day I was not very clear if I had remembered to write about the day I burned down my house. That is very serious. How did I not remember the fire? I'm like Dori [endearing and forgetful character from

Finding Nemo]


And on top of that, they go and put memories on the cover.

I saw it more as an adventure book or the story of a girl who rides a train.

I wanted it to be something alive, not to be lying there like in hypnosis or regression… Regression!

We should have put regression! ”, La Mala shouts so that the members of her team and the editorial that are in the adjoining room can hear her.

There is no response and after a couple of minutes, when one of them shows up with two glasses of wine, everything is forgotten.

"This wine is great, try, try ... The chapters in the middle are the ones that have cost me the most, did you ask me that before?"

"I have always been a bluff. It has been a lot of fun living," says La Mala.

In the image, the singer is wearing a María Escoté dress.Raúl Ruz

La Mala's first LP,

Lujo ibérico,

was published in 2000 and became a gold record (more than 50,000 copies sold). It is an amazing mix of flamenco and hip hop made by someone who knows a lot about both. Two years earlier, he had moved to Madrid and entered the heart of the city's rap scene.

From the narration of those times as an emerging artist, one can draw the profile of what the heroes and villains will be like that will later inhabit the artist's career. The former will almost all resemble Jota Mayúscula, dj and producer, member of CPV and one of the main popularizers and promoters of rap in Spain, who died last September at the age of 48. “He was a very special person, a visionary. I haven't met many of those. He told me: 'Latinos will come and everything is going to change; It's going to get pretty. ' What he didn't see coming is that women were going to take control. Jota talked about the immigrants and how they were going to give color to Spain, how they would enrich the music here ”.

After her debut, La Mala publishes four more albums -





Dirty ballerina



(2013)… -, each one with their own history and each one contributing something special. He wins two Latin Grammys in 2010 and 2013. He plays all over the world, falls in love with Cuba and Puerto Rico. “I have performed in very strange places and with very random people. On countless occasions I have been the only aunt in panties on stage, ”she recalls. So, like almost all greats, Maria feels that she must disappear. She is fed up with everything. He ends up in San Diego, California, dedicating himself to repairing and reselling used cars. He does not have a driving license. “I met Saul, who I was going to work with. He picked me up in a limousine and showed me the business. There was a good profit margin on car trading. I took out my American driver's license. I met a boy with whom I had a daughter. I've never had a non-toxic partner before.The same thing is that I was also toxic before. Saul didn't know that I was a singer. I was there I don't know how many fucking months and I didn't get a bolus until I finally got one. I invited him and he went crazy. It was fun. Then I have done that with more people, people who do not know who I am and who I have met, I don't know, in the gym, and one night I invite them to a concert of mine and they freak out ”.

Mala Rodríguez was born in Jerez de la Frontera in 1979, although she has lived in Barcelona for years.

In the image, the artist in the Ciutadella park of the Catalan capital dressed in Sherry & Cherry.Raúl Ruz

When he feels that his American adventure is no more — it lasted six months in 2014 — La Mala returns to Spain.

Everything has changed.

That musical scene that, little by little, seemed to be moving away from her, has turned around and not only is now fully in tune with the way that Maria understands all this, but also celebrates it as a reference.

They are the years of the


The new generations want to kill the father and sanctify the mother.

And the mother is her.

Without that new batch of musicians today we would not be here.

Just take a look at the cover of

How to Be Bad.

The image of María that decorates it has much more in common with that offered by Bad Gyal, La Zowi or any young


that stagnant, mimetic and domesticated reinterpretation of urban art and the streets of Brooklyn that that first hip hop of which she was a part has become. In 2019 he receives the official certification that he is importing again by receiving the National Prize for Current Music. “I am more comfortable with young people, obviously. It gave me a lot of courage when they tried to kill the whole new wave. I felt like they were doing the same shit that they did to Solo Los Solo, which for me is one of the most beastly groups of that era of rap. If they had let more people explore out there, now we would be freaking out. But no, they were paralyzed. Who is it? People are copying and copying, who are reinterpreting something that has already been heard. I don't see anything new there. Look, it's cool that people touch Tchaikovsky stuff and such,But don't kill those who want to do something different, for God's sake. That to me is communism. Does everyone have to do the same? Why? Because of your balls? Well no".

'Luxury Iberian' (2000) and 'Alevosía' (2003), Mala Rodríguez's first two albums, were gold records.

In the image, La Mala poses in the Ribes & Casals store in Barcelona, ​​with Georgiela's top.Raúl Ruz

"If you started now, what kind of music would you make?"

"Very depressing."


Being young today and seeing everything there is, I think I would not feel very optimistic.

It would perceive a hostile world.

Mine would be a more



and with deep and honest content.

Let's see, I'm not saying that people like Tangana are not honest or profound, but if I were just starting out, I would see Tangana as an old man who makes pop.

"Is it necessary to be suspicious of everything massive?"

—Look, my uncle used to tell me: "Don't ever make music that they put on the radio, please, I ask you."

Imagine what a bastard, he ruined my life.

It complicated everything for me.

Don't tell me that right away, you've screwed up my career.

I know why he was telling me, making strawberry pop is a bit of a betrayal where I come from.

Am I going to ignore my origins to chase little lights?

No. I rap without lights and illuminate everything.

"Don't you think this is a good time for me to explain what's wrong with Rosalía?"

"Let's see how I say this ... If I'm not enthusiastic, am I already a


They spent the entire promotion of


[the single released by La Mala with Stylo G last year] telling me about that move. But if I come to talk about my book, what are you telling me? In the end, the girl will be grossed out. She is like Paulina Rubio in her day, a pop artist. I don't think they have to compare me to her. Okay, he has taken from there and from here. But she took it, not me, touch your balls. He has listened to my discography eight times, I see myself in his achievements and that is cool, but I am very happy with my work.

The book is full of women. The first, obviously, his mother, who has it as a teenager in Jerez de la Frontera. Two years later they move to Seville. When Maria grows up and begins to visit her friends' houses, she discovers that her home is not normal. What happens in those houses after dinner, what is talked about, the dynamics that are established, had little to do with what happens in his. They are different. And unlike many children, he likes his to be different. Decide that she will be too. And he will not hide it. “My mother is very important because she has been everything. She has taught me to be a motherfucker. She is a tough girl. I am not tough, I am strong, which is different. I've read self-help books, she hasn't. I have paid for therapy, I have invested. We were a strange family, but very cool ”, recalls La Mala.“I have tried to do new things. The human being would be very depressing if we always repeat what the previous one has done. You have to evolve. Let's see, I don't think we're coming from the monkey. That is a discussion that, if you want, we have it… ”. Better not, thank you.

The singer is finalizing a new album for this 2021, whose provisional title is 'Love and hate'.

In the image, La Mala in a bar in the Raval district of Barcelona, ​​dressed as Sheriff & Cherry.Raúl Ruz

"Do you think you always have to say what you think?"

"I speak when it's my turn."

An uncle of mine used to say: "This girl should be slapped."

And I thought: “But why does he have to give me a host?

Why can't I say what I want if all these guys at the table are saying nothing but nonsense? "

I'm a bit of a beast, yes, but the beast comes out when I want to.

I have had a long time to achieve self-control.

—In the book you confess that there are people who believe that you are not empathetic.

"I think it's because I'm an Aquarius and I spend a lot of time on my planet."

Your aunt is dying and I haven't told you anything.

And it's not that I don't care about your aunt.

They complain to me since I was little.

My best friend told me: "I am telling you this and you are not listening to me."

I replied that yes, that I listened to her, but that I could do more things at the same time.

Look, maybe I disconnect for a little while, but I'll be back.

I feel the pain of people.

I'm not like that crazy guy from

The Big Bang Theory


Sheldon, right?

No, I'm not that guy.

"Is it frivolous?"

"Fuck her with the balls."

I have some stoic days and others more



"What is your relationship to money?"

"I've spent it all." I've gone bankrupt a few times. Weren't we talking about learning by making mistakes? Well, I have taken it to the letter. If you are never wrong, who are you? Spinet? What's wrong?

The dynamic that María establishes in her narration with the women who have been part of her life is one of companionship. All those who come and go and all those who come to stay are part of a story that is tremendously tempting to read as a story of overcoming and as a call to sisterhood. "If it seems like that, I apologize," he intervenes. “It is rare that there are so many women. The normal thing was for a godfather to come, play on the easy side, eat cocks. I did not play around there, I was all the time for the band. I did not want to be in a hurry, I have always felt that I am a long-distance runner and look, I don't like that at all, it wears my knees a lot. But I knew it was my turn to be a long-distance runner. Being an aunt I have not seen it complicated ".

"If you see my Instagram, you see the mocha goat. I like colors, I like to laugh," says La Mala. In the image, she is wearing Pepa Salazar's jumpsuit, Sheriff & Cherry glasses and vintage shoes. Raúl Ruz

If there is not a call to the minds of the other women in the book, what there is is a huge amount of reflections on her own body, with which María had a stormy relationship until a few years ago. “I have suffered from some such disorders of vomiting a lot. Before it was very normal for girls to be skinny, and I was a big ass. When I left Seville I started to lose weight, until I reached 42 kilos. I had a hard time recovering. I looked good, skinny, but I was not good. Now, chubby again, I feel great. This makes me think of that phrase from a Tarantino movie: 'Why isn't pleasant to the touch always pleasant to the eye?' Look, I've fucked a boxer and I don't recommend it, it's like fucking at a table. Shall I pass the cloth? ”. Mala Rodríguez also recommends not having sex in a pool.

María is the mother of three children and lives in Barcelona. In 2020 he returned with a new job,


And now he has an album almost ready, the first in which he has collaborated with a composer (and whose working title is

Love and Hate).

She has also written a television series with a friend and will soon begin broadcasting her cooking channel on Twitch. "This will work because of the nonsense I say," says the woman with the wildest Instagram account on the national scene. “My Instagram is the best. And the people who follow me are the fucking most, all horny and horny. You should see the private messages that come to me, is that I am leaving. Sometimes I say to my oldest son: 'Look, you answer.' That, they know. We piss laughing. If you see Beatriz Luengo's Instagram, then you see Beatriz Luengo. If you see mine, you see the mocha goat. I like colors, I like to laugh ”.

Maria pauses, picks up the proof copy of the book on the bed, and flips through it again.

He makes a face of wanting to say one thing before being asked about another.

“My children love me very much, they admire me and they are my number one fans.

They tell me: 'Mom, you are crazy, but we love you very much.'

They know me, they know that I have moments when I need to be alone and then I come back with some madness.

I've always been a bluff.

It has been a lot of fun living ”.

Talks about life and music

María Sioke remembers that the first times she heard La Mala were in her mother's car, in the summer, going to the beach. The album 'Malamarismo' (2007) sounded during those trips and that young mother, without knowing it, was opening a new world to her daughter. Today, María is one of the strongest hopes of the new Spanish pop. She knows of the debt that the artists of her generation owe to Mala Rodríguez, who taught them that it was possible to find a place in a place dominated by men. “The first times I met La Mala, I was very ashamed, but she was always very nice to me. Now when we meet we can spend an hour chatting non-stop. He has always supported my music, he has shared it ”. The closeness shown by La Mala with the girls of the new musical generation even extends to her own manager,Patricia Zavala, who is 11 years younger than the author of 'Lujo Ibérico'. “For me, working with her is a unique opportunity. We complement each other and we understand each other. I think what he has done for music in this country is enormous ”. Zavala minimizes the complications that collaborating with someone with a certain reputation for being complicated can have. “It is quite easy. Let's see, sometimes it escapes you, but nothing serious. And well, in these months when concerts are far away and such, you have to be a little careful not to let anyone go on stage, as she likes to do, because you can't. You forget, but that's what we're here for ”. La Mala's relationship with Patricia is one of enormous camaraderie, a lot of trust and an almost family closeness, she says. In a way,It is very similar to the bond that the artist has established with the team that helped her put together her memoir. “Sometimes they have been sessions of more than 16 hours talking. You almost forgot that you were with an editorial project and that those eternal talks about life, music, whatever it was, had to materialize in something ", recalls Marcel Ventura, editorial director of Temas de Hoy, a label that publishes' How to be Bad'.


Styling: Miguel Padial. Production: Motif Management & Production. Makeup and hairdressing: Lidia Yélamos.

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2021-06-24

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