by Danielle Holian
Xenia Rubinos doesn’t shy away from her serious social commentary in her song ‘Mexican Chef’.
This track is all about straight talk. Rubinos was inspired to write this song when she took a walk around New York. She gets fiercely political when she addresses issues about class and race in America’s built-up service industry, “It’s a party ‘cross America, Bachata in the back”. She creates many questions about how black and brown people are valued.
Her righteous rage comes out when she growls,”French bistro? Dominican chef/ Italian restaurant? Boricua chef/ Chinese takeout? Mexican chef… Brown cleans your house/ Brown takes the trash/ Brown even wipes your grandaddy’s ass.”
She includes workers of undesirable jobs, showing them comfort that some do acknowledge this stress, “Brown lays bricks / Brown builds your wall / Brown tears them down and builds them again.”
She raps in a rhythmic flow taking into account the lack of respect they get, “Brown breaks his back, brown takes the flack, brown gets cut ‘cos his papers are whack/Brown sits down, brown does frown, brown’s up in a hospital gown/Brown has not, brown gets shot, brown got what he deserved ‘cos he fought.”
The music is contemporary R’n’B, garage, with fuzzy guitars, sharp percussion, and bass. It’s repetitive with slight rhythmic changes with her soulful vocals across the track. Her voice gives this tune its own distinctive character. There is a void which could’ve been filled with a synthetic horn line which is instead filled with bass pops that are filled all over the song.