Peso Pluma: Mexico’s ‘Spider-Man’ scaling global music charts

MEXICO CITY  -  Fast-rising Mexican music star Peso Pluma iden­tifies with Spider-Man. His critics accuse him of glamorizing drug-trafficking villains.

Despite -- or perhaps partly because of -- the controversy he generates, the 24-year-old has scaled global music charts with a string of hits.

Former US president Barack Obama included “La Bebe” -- Peso Pluma’s collaboration with fel­low Mexican singer Yng Lvcas -- in his list of fa­vorite music of 2023.

And in February, Peso Pluma -- real name Has­san Emilio Kabande Laija -- won a Grammy for Best Musica Mexicana Album for “Genesis.”

Many industry watchers expressed shock that he was left out of the Best New Artist category.

“He sees himself as a kind of superhero, the new hero of Mexican music,” Uriel Waizel, lead editor at streaming platform Spotify in Mexico, told AFP.

On Friday night, Peso Pluma, who takes his nickname from the featherweight boxing catego­ry, will perform on the main stage at the Coach­ella music festival in the California desert.


Peso Pluma is part of a new generation of singer-songwriters of the “corrido” genre that became popular during the 1910-1917 Mexican revolution, but these days is also known for rap-infused ballads about drug traffickers.

Last year he canceled a concert in the border city of Tijuana after a cartel allegedly threatened to kill him following a shout out he gave to a rival gang. Rolling Stone magazine featured him on its front cover this month and described him as “the biggest new artist on the planet.”

His milestones include more than 20 songs in the Billboard Hot 100. “Ella Baila Sola” (She Dances Alone), Peso Pluma’s collaboration with the group Eslabon Armado, passed more than one billion streams on Spotify last December -- the first Mexi­can song to do so. He prefers baggy clothes, sneak­ers and designer caps to cowboy boots and hat.

“You wouldn’t expect that a skinny guy with semi-blond, disheveled hair who breaks the ste­reotypes of other great figures of regional Mexi­can music would end up being one of the great global pop stars,” Waizel said.

In 2023 Peso Pluma performed at Coachella as a guest of the American singer Becky G.

This year “Mexico’s going to rock the house,” the performer vowed this month at a music awards show in Los Angeles.

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