Chicano Batman


(Image via The Guardian)

Joshua King, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Chicano Batman is a four-person band based in Los Angeles, California. The members are Eduardo Ardenas, Carlos Arévalo, Gabriel Villa, and Bardo Martinez. They are all Latinos with a passion for music and keeping their Mexican roots alive. Their mix of soul, groove, and rock combined with the incredible lyricism in all of their songs is astounding and has amassed them a large following. Rarely do we see such incredible representation of the Hispanic community in American music, especially in rock.

Since their formation in 2008, Chicano Batman has been releasing groundbreaking music with some incredibly important messages. For example, their 2017 release “Freedom is Free” is an anthem of self-empowerment and a protest against wrongful treatment. They released their first album, “Chicano Batman,” in 2009, the majority of the album being sung in Spanish but some in English, and this remains a staple of Chicano Batman’s music. However, as time progressed, they began doing music more commonly in English, while still retaining their Spanish. Their 2014 album “Cycles of Existential Rhyme” had almost a 50/50 split of Spanish and English, along with moving their musical identity to be a mix of funk-rock and Latin styles. The band’s latest album, “Freedom is Free” (released in 2017), as previously mentioned, centers around the problems of minorities and deals with the problems that people have to endure. They have also released singles, such as “Black Lipstick”, released in 2016, which tackles themes of the problems of capitalism and systemic oppression.

It is a great achievement that Chicano Batman has been so successful in the United States music scene, mainly due to their Latino roots. They continue to go on tour, and were on a tour around California in 2019, holding almost half of their concerts entirely in Spanish and keeping their Hispanic roots with them always. As a Hispanic-American having spent time with my Mexican family and being in the process of learning to understand the problems faced by Hispanics in the United States, this band is, to me, a glimmer of hope. Their music reflects the determination to overcome the problems that Hispanic-Americans have to face and allows Hispanic-Americans to be proud of their heritage and know that they deserve to be treated the same as anyone else in this country, no matter who they are. This is why I implore anyone, Hispanic or not, to listen to the music of Chicano Batman, to understand the experiences and the lives of Hispanic-Americans and to enjoy the very pleasant musical genius that is Chicano Batman.

Diversity in musical genres is a powerful thing. Whether it’s Eminem changing racial stigmas surrounding rap or Chicano Batman proving to the entire United States that the Hispanic community is still very much alive, successful, and will not accept oppression, diversity makes a huge difference in anything. Breaking down the racial and cultural barriers of people in the polarized United States is incredibly important to national unity and creating an intimate understanding of people from all walks of life. This is what Chicano Batman stands for.