Peso Pluma Isn’t Letting Controversy Prevent His Corridos Takeover

The Truth Behind EMF’s 1990 Smash Hit 'Unbelievable'
The Truth Behind EMF’s 1990 Smash Hit ‘Unbelievable’

Peso Pluma isn’t letting an injury slow him down. The Mexican superstar, who is leading a new wave of corridos artists on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border, suffered a foot fracture during his headlining performance at Governor’s Ball in New York City earlier this month. Peso Pluma powered through his set before undergoing surgery. With his fourth album Éxodo and an arena tour on the horizon, he is determined to keep pushing the Mexican folk song into the mainstream. 

“I hope people remember [us música Mexicana artists] for how hard we worked and how proud we have been to represent our country and our music all over the world,” he tells SPIN. “⁠It feels great to be accomplishing milestones for our music, you know? Making everyone proud of our roots feels amazing.”

More from Spin:

A year after releasing his breakthrough Génesis last June, Peso Pluma has taken música Mexicana and Mexican culture to new heights. He scored the genre’s first top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with Eslabon Armado on “Ella Baila Sola.” After peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart, Génesis holds the record for the highest-charting música Mexicana album. The LP later earned Peso Pluma his first Grammy Award. In April, he brought the trap-infused corridos tumbados to the main stage of Coachella. Peso Pluma used the stage to address the controversy of corridos’ connection to narco culture, drugs, and gun violence. News reports flashing across the screens and a Morgan Freeman voiceover alluded to parallels between corridos and the gangster rap movement.

That corridos and rap connection comes full circle in Peso Pluma’s Éxodo album. A second disc is dedicated to hip-hop collaborations, including Cardi B in the knockout “Put Em In the Fridge” and Peso Pluma joining Rich the Kid for the swaggering “Gimme a Second.” He also dabbles in the reggaeton genre with Anitta in the alluring “Bellakeo” and Kenia Os in the sultry “Tommy & Pamela,” which references the nineties sex tape. The first disc boasts corridos tumbados that are more fiery and anthemic in sound. He regroups with Eslabon Armado and Junior H for the debaucherous “La Durango” where they indulge in Don Julio and “rosa pastel,” which is slang for pink cocaine. The party’s not stopping for Peso Pluma.

How would you describe this new era of Peso Pluma?

Peso Pluma: In this new era, my fans will get to see the other side. It’s darker, real, and raw. So often people only see the “good” side and on this album you also get to experience the other side of the coin.

In one of your new songs “Hollywood,” you appear to touch on the fame since blowing up with your last album. How have you adjusted to becoming a global pop star?

Everything has changed. I mean I can no longer do the normal things in life that I used to, or go out and hang out with my friends like we would back in the day. But I am very grateful for this journey and I wouldn’t change a thing.

What does it mean to you to represent música Mexicana and Mexican culture on a global level?

It is an honor to represent my country and to take Mexican music global. There is so much talent in Mexico and it was time that the world got to experience all of it. We have been working so hard, not just me, but everyone that came before me and everyone that I am collaborating with. I feel so privileged to be at the forefront of that movement. I am super honored to be here showing the world what Mexico has to offer.

Why do you think that millions of people are connecting with your corridos?

People are connecting with our music because it’s honest and portrays real life. Because the music is good and because it’s different and unique. We are taking a genre that has existed for many years and making it our own and in doing so, paving the way for other Mexican artists to get out there and present their music to the world.

You put corridos tumbados and música Mexicana on a global stage earlier this year at Coachella. Why was it important for you to make that statement with your performances about corridos’ connection to rap music?

When hip-hop first entered the scene, it was not widely accepted in a similar way that corridos has received controversy and it was important for me to show that there is nothing wrong with telling a story through music about the real life we lived. It took a while for hip-hop to become accepted just like our music did, but little by little people started to accept and understand its purpose. Both genres are so important to me because I grew up listening to them and they made me who I am today. 

I noticed the biblical references in the titles of your albums Génesis and now Éxodo, or “Exodus.” What’s the story behind how you named your albums?

Génesis was the beginning and Éxodo is the continuation of that. Éxodo marks a new era for me, we are preparing the next chapter, and laying the groundwork for what’s next for música Mexicana because this is only the beginning. ⁠I want to keep revolutionizing música Mexicana.

You and Eslabon Armado made history last year with “Ella Baila Sola.” How would you describe the experience of reuniting with the band and Junior H for “La Durango”?

It is always great when you can collaborate with fellow artists who are also your friends and that is one of the cool things about our genre, we are all working together, collaborating and joining forces for the same cause: Elevating our country and our music.

You also explore sierreño music in “Reloj” with Ivan Cornejo. How did you feel about working with a sierreño sad boy for this breakup song?

It was our first time working together and our voices fused really nicely together on this track. I love the way the song turned out. It is one of the tracks that has a special meaning to me.

Why did you decide to explore hip-hop and reggaeton collaborations on the second disc of Éxodo?

Our fans were expecting everything and we wanted to give them everything. If you want to listen to música Mexicana, we have that. If you want to listen to rap, we have that. Trap too. We wanted to give the fans everything they’ve been hearing from me for the past year. I want to keep trying new sounds and genres and keep pushing the boundaries.

One of the most interesting collaborations is with Mexican pop princess Kenia Os. How would you describe the experience of working with her on the reggaeton song “Tommy & Pamela”?

She is a star! Her voice is incredible and I am so glad she jumped on this song with me. I’m sure people will love this track. 

Last year, you launched your record label, Doble P Records, which includes your cousin and co-writer Tito Doble P and rising artists like Jasiel Nuñez. How do you feel about working on the business side of the industry as well through your label? 

It is great to be able to take care of your friends, to make sure they don’t get taken advantage of in the music industry and to be able to provide them a transparent and honest label which is not commonly found in this industry.

What do you see for the future of música Mexicana?

I see us staying here for a long time, expanding to even more countries. We are just getting started and there is still so much left for us to accomplish. 

To see our running list of the top 100 greatest rock stars of all time, click here.