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After 25 Years, Legendary Punk Band Los Crudos Is Still As Hardcore As Ever

The iconic band reunites after 25 years. 

When the Latinx band Los Crudos exploded onto the Chicago punk scene in 1991, they created a unique sound that would garner them fans all over the Americas. The hardcore punk group's unapologetic harsh and gritty lyrics set them apart as a premiere political Latinx band, detailing the realities of violence and immigration struggles in their communities in the United States and abroad. After more than twenty years of not performing with the breakthrough band, Martin Sorrondeguy, the band's vocalist, is still as punk as ever.

"I still go to basement shows and I’m still pissed off," he told Remezcla, with a laugh. "I never left that. I don’t do many lectures in universities. I see that they invite a lot of scholars who study punk but often they don’t invite punks…If I get invited, I’m glad and honored and I do my best to give a true sort of representation of what punk is. I also don’t have a problem with challenging these ‘punk scholars’ because I think sometimes they’re wrong and need to be challenged before it gets written down in their books."

Los Crudos were not a band that relied on political performance; the band's distinctly anti-authoritarian sound was influenced by troubling political events south of the border. As a child of Uruguayan immigrants, Sorrondeguy knew directly about the social unrest created by the dictatorship in his parents' home country. He channeled this into writing material for Los Crudos, prompting discussions about the fight for democracy elsewhere on the planet. "It was one thing to write a song about El Salvador from a U.S. perspective—and that was cool, I think there were some great bands who did good stuff—but when you have people coming from certain places and have dealt with these ugly realities and they go writing songs, then it’s a little different. It got to a point where we needed to write our own songs about these things that were important to us.”

While the military dictatorship of Uruguay came to an end in 1983, the band's front man argues that the songs that were a result of that troubling time in Latin American history is still pertinent in the millennium. "The thing about the lyrics that we wrote 25 years ago is that they are completely relevant today. For me it’s not hard to scream these lyrics and still feel very strongly about them. It’s all still happening. The U.S. is very anti-Latinx and the world is very anti-immigrant, and that also includes us.”

It's this dedication to originality that Sorrondeguy wants to maintain in punk, rather than political posturing in order to be perceived as radical by the punk audience. “I want to see some totally freaky queer person doing something that has nothing to do with queerness as political…I’m curious about what people bring to punk or take or give to punk. I get bored easily when bands do the same thing over and over and over. I think kids are afraid to take risks, to look different from their peers and their scenes. When they step outside of their peers and scenes, te critican, but si te están criticando, maybe you’re doing something f*cking cool, you know? I said to people in the past who have interviewed me that I don’t believe all bands should tell me all their politics, after which they tell me, ‘But that’s what you do!’ Yeah, that’s what I do and what I have done, I don’t expect everybody to follow in my footsteps.”

Sorrondeguy's openness about his queer identity has challenged the aversion to queerness in the punk scene, particularly in the evolution of the genre in Chicago. In 2010, black and brown punk show (lovingly nicknamed B&B), a DIY concert dedicated to showcasing punk talent from people of color who were marginalized in the city's predominately white punk spaces, was on the city's south side. The show, conceptualized and hosted by black punk veteran Monika Estrella Negra, created workshops for deconstructing anti-blackness, machismo, xenophobia, state-sanctioned violence, and very explicitly provided a safe space for queer folks who were constant targets of disparaging attitudes and comments about their identities. The movement's last show in 2015 was organized around the reunion of Los Crudos, a farewell to the space that created a new haven for the city's black and brown queercore punk rock scene.

"Over the years, there has been a much larger presence of queer punk and people coming out or being more visible. I’ve seen that there’s a lot more trans kids that are part of the scene and I think that’s amazing. You wouldn’t see that sort of thing in a hardcore punk setting 15 or 20 years ago. People were so afraid because punk and hardcore had a very macho exterior, and to a certain degree I get it, because you have to fight a lot, to be always ready to battle. Because you were a weirdo y la gente te veía raro and they would f*ck with you, " he explains. "You’re fighting to create your own space within punk, to say, ‘I like punk too and I like to suck dick—that’s who I am—and I don’t give a f*ck if you don’t like it.’ That’s the true spirit of punk, to challenge within it, especially once it became more codified and [adopted] more rules. We need the rule breakers.”

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Popular Celeb Spot 'La Marina' Shut Down After Drug Bust

Adored by celebrities like French Montana, Jay-Z and Leonardo DiCaprio, New York hot spot La Marina might be closing its doors for a good after a drug bust led to a suspension of their liquor license.

A statement released Dec. 6 by the New York Liquor Authority (SLA) broke down the case, which overlapped with an investigation by the NYPD in July. Bar manager Christian Mendez, 33, was arrested in November on felony charges after he was caught selling large amounts of cocaine, oxycodone and other drugs to undercover NYPD detectives. Their investigation into the venue also revealed 72 violations of the state liquor law like selling liquor to minors and impaired customers.

Chairman Vincent Bradley and Commissioner Lily Fan condemned the venue and hope to yank their liquor license for good. “When a bar manager is able to traffic and sell these types and quantities of narcotics from within an establishment it is incredibly alarming," Counsel to the Authority Christopher R. Riano said.

“Licensees have a responsibility to ensure their establishments are operating within the law, and the SLA is obligated to take emergency action as it is clear that this licensee has failed to take any meaningful actions to protect the public.”

La Marina was also hit with sixteen violations of the ABC Law, including seven counts of operating disorderly premises for permitting the trafficking of controlled substances, six violations for fire, health and more safety code violations. Their inspection grade in July was something close to an F minus for mishandlings of food, shoddy plumbing and the presence of mice and flies.

The venue has been a staple in the area since its opening in 2012, attracting big celebrities and brands like Red Bull and HBO. The New York Post notes La Marina has a 15-year lease, where they make up to $7 million a year in revenue.

Their social presence hasn't acknowledged their current status, but their calendar for upcoming events has been scrapped from their website.

READ MORE: DJ Collective WeAreHouse78 Are Making The Best Party Ever...At 9AM

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Judge Awards Cardi B Release Without Bail After Alleged Bartender Attack

Cardi B reported to court Friday morning (Dec. 7) in efforts to resolve an ongoing court case, which stems from an alleged altercation back in August at a Queens strip club involving two bartenders named Jade and Baddie Gi.

Prior to attending court, the "Money" MC was threatened to face jail time by the judge in charge of the case if she missed today’s court date. She reportedly had a court appearance on Monday (Dec. 3) that she failed to report to.

In October, the Bronx rapper (born Belcalis Almanzar) turned herself in to authorities after being accused of orchestrating a physical attack on the servers at Angels Strip Club. Per TMZ, she was arrested for two misdemeanor charges: assault and reckless endangerment.

One of the bartenders, Jade Gi, was accused of having an affair with Cardi’s (now possibly estranged) husband, Migos member Offset. The “She Bad” rapper was released without bail. Prosecutors reportedly wanted to charge her with a $2,500 bail, but the judge felt she wasn’t a flight risk, meaning she wouldn’t leave the country before the case is over in its totality.

However, the judge did warn Cardi to have “no contact” to Baddie and Jade Gi, after he granted both an order of protection against the 26 year-old. She’s also not allowed to make any threats or comment on the two on social media.

Cardi is reportedly scheduled to head back to court sometime next month.

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Premiere: Fuego And A. Chal Take Over The Strip Club In "Dancin" Music Video

Dominican trap artist Fuego has created an ode to the art of stripping with his new single “Dancin,” featuring producer and R&B extraordinaire A. Chal. The visuals for the track are laced with bright blue club lights and brief salacious interludes of voluptuous young ladies dancing provocatively.

The two are seemingly in a never-ending party in efforts to promote strip club etiquette through their tantalizing lyrics. There's no denying that Fuego's sound is reminiscent of today's prominent trap artists like Migos and Future, but he packs in a Latino flair, like his contemporaries Bad Bunny and El Alfa. The Washington D.C. native's sound is similar, but it's worth noting he's been on the scene for a while, steadily etching his mark as his musical prowess rises within hip-hop and Latin audiences.

“For some reason, I've always wanted to do a sound that American hip-hop has, and then break that my way,” he tells VIBE. “When it comes to putting stuff together and making fusions of music, I've done it all my life. When I first started out, I did reggae beats, but I was rapping over them. There’s a little more urban, hip-hop sound in the Latin community. Before, it was mad reggae. It either had to be a tropical type song or reggaeton song. I've always wanted to come out with hip-hop music."

Watch the video for "Dancin" below.

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