Mecate

Mecate

[muh-kah-tee]
Mecate is the name of one a controversial rap music group in El Salvador. Despite its ephemeral presence, it managed to leave a mark in the country's media and music scene. With a style permeated by various rap and hip-hop groups, the band kept a bizarre balance between Humor and Social Conscience.

Early days

The band was born at some stage during 1998 in Jorge Manuel's (a.k.a. "Piocha") house. Piocha was a talented guitarist with some exposure to the Salvadoran rock scene who consented to experiment musically with Ernesto Asecas ("Neto") and Enrique Salopino ("Pino") who both lacked musical background and had only recently been exposed (to hip-hop music).

With time the experiment took a more defined shape and added new recruits, including drummer Carlos Alfredo (alias "Kalimba"), Rafa, and chorus girl and dancing king Jose Manuel ("Lady"). The sessions culminated in an ill-fated performance during a school event in the Salvadoran British School (ABC), where the band performed their original track "Armando Pleito." Audience members were reported to have been "thoroughly disgusted" by the lack of skill, talent, and "any sort of entertainment value whatsoever"; backstage the band was escorted by the event organizer and invited to retire from the music scene indefinitely.

But their ingenuity kept them going, and with the aid of Fruity Loops software, Neto, Lady, and Kique began to prepare some home-brewed tracks. Only after several attempts did the band manage to get some of their tracks on the air.

Censorship

With the single "El Directo", Mecate tapped a vein in the country's conscience, by playing in the mainstream's ears the story of a heavily controverted underaged gang-member accused of at least 18 killings.

The title created serious debate in the local media, including a ruling by the Interior Minister to ban it from the airwaves. They say there's no such thing as bad publicity and Mecate soon realized it finding themselves prominently featured in various communication forms including endorsments.

Postmortem

Once the sea settled, the band had to disband in order to pursue academic studies. However, thanks to the Internet they kept making sporadic attempts to reenter the Salvadoran airwaves with a few tracks such as "Poder Latino" and "Prototipo" and eventually contributions with Pescozada for "Movimiento" and Ayutush for "Paranoia." At some stage the talented Demetrio Soto Martinez ("Demi") joined the group and laid down what are arguably some of the best verses to date in Latin hip-hop, with a unique rhyme style.

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