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Watch Prayers’ Video ‘Mexica’, For Indigenous Day

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Prayers At The Echoplex, Tuesday July 8th 2014

 

I saw Prayers about 2 years ago, and I immediately knew they were onto something, cholo goth? Did you even know this was a thing or a genre? It makes complete sense when I saw them at the Echoplex, although I had never seen or heard something like this. During their set, they opened new territories where the goth scene meets hip hop culture wrapped into a very theatrical swagger. These 2 goths are mixing a gangster-gang rap coolness with cold electronic beats and the result is aggressive and menacing but always very esthetic.

Prayers have released a new video for their song ‘Mexica’ and it covers everything this band is about. With a chilling soundtrack, a black and white photography and a rapping delivery dropping too many f-bombs to count, Prayers examines what it is like to be Mexican American during times when a potential US president wants to build a wall and promises mass deportation of Latino families. The clip is made to scare you a bit, following a man wearing a Aztlan costume through a concrete neighborhood and seeing elements of his culture everywhere, regaining his old territory while dancing with the Calpulli Mexihca dancers, who requested that the two Prayers members ‘endure a two-hour sweat lodge before working with them’

‘What I’m trying to do is decolonize myself and help my people find value in themselves,’ said frontman Leafar Seyer aka Rafael Reyes to Uproxx. ‘As Mexicans, we often portray ourselves as ‘just humble people that want to come to this country to work.’ I say no — screw all that. Yes, Mexicans are hard-working people, we are the foundation and the backbone of America. But we’re so much more than that. Our civilization goes back to 3700 BC, we’re older than Egypt, we had our own customs and our own cities.’

The video is an unapologetic statement, re-claiming an identity lost in centuries of colonization, imperialism and pseudo-slavery, and it’s not a coincidence if this video is released today, October 10th, a day which is usually celebrated as Columbus Day, something Prayers would rather celebrate as indigenous day.

‘The truth of the matter is, people of color are oppressed, and we have been since 1492 when the settlers came to the Western Hemisphere and started raping us and pillaging our land,’ continued Seyer. ‘We’re Mexica and we are the indigenous people of this continent. There was no borders before the Europeans came. They came and divided our continent among themselves. Even now we’re still colonized, and our minds are colonized too. It’s to the point that we’ve lost our own identity. I want to decolonize not just the minds of my people, but everyone.’

‘Whenever there’s talk about Mexicans, it’s always the word immigrants that comes into play, I understand America was built on the backs of immigrants — but we’re not immigrants. I’m trying to re-educate people: We are the indigenous people of this continent. We are the indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere and 95% of our people were slaughtered, murdered and raped when the land was settled. Everything we’re being accused of? The settlers did that to us. They killed 95% of our people and the 5% that actually survived had to convert to Catholicism and Christianity. We lost our identity and we lost our roots.’

Understood? The clip is also very artistic, it was directed by Seyer himself, filmed by Gavin Filipiak in their San Diego neighborhood, and co-produced by Shlohmo, the LA-based hip-hop producer of the WeDidIt Collectiv.

‘It felt really important for me to embrace my culture, and let my culture know that I’m behind them, and that I’m with them, and that I’m thinking of them, ’ added Seyer. ‘Especially with all the talk that’s happening right now in politics with Donald Trump dividing so many people. I’m hoping that even if it’s in a tiny way, this video can bring some unity among my people.’

I guess this man walking with this skull mask could give nightmares to Donald Trump for the rest of his miserable life!

The song will be featured on Prayers’ forthcoming ‘Baptism of Thieves’ EP (it is available for free download over at CD Baby) and the band has a few upcoming dates on the west coast with a special show (an All Saints Eve Costume Ball) at the Mayan in Los Angeles on October 30th.

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