There has been a lot of talk recently about what it means to be an immigrant in America — most infamously from real estate mogul and presidential hopeful Donald Trump.
But one would argue that Trump’s recent, derogatory comments about Mexicans have done nothing but unite Latinos, including several Latin music superstars who took those remarks made on July 16 as an attack on everyone who has ever come here in honest pursuit of a better life.
In pop music, there are plenty of trans-generational Latinos who embody the American Dream, everyone from original crossover queen Gloria Estefan to someone like 18-year-old Becky G, who was born and raised in Inglewood, California.
It was Becky who had one of the best responses to Trump last week with “We Are Mexico,” a new track in which she sings about some of the attributes Trump forgot to mention in his presidential bid speech — things like resilience, family values and work ethic.
In celebration of Fourth of July, we asked Becky what it’s like to live in between two worlds, much like her musical idol Selena Quintanilla before her.
“I’m just as proud to be American as I am to be Mexican,” Becky tells Billboard. “If it weren’t for my grandparents coming to this land I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am today.”
Becky, who is currently dating all-American cutie Austin Mahone, also shared her favorite memories from this important holiday. “Growing up, every year my family would get together at a park in the neighborhood [in Inglewood] and spend all day there. Then later around sunset we all go to my grandparents’ house, lay out blankets in the driveway and set off fireworks in the streets once it was dark out.”
The “We Are Mexico” singer is such a fan of Independence Day that she references the holiday in one of her songs, “Shower,” in which she sings, “You light me up inside like the Fourth of July.”
“The reason why [I included that line] is because when I think of Fourth of July, I think of happiness,” says Becky. “I think of vibrant bright colors in the sky.”
Beyond a grand display of pyrotechnics, Becky says the holiday carries special significance. “When I think of the Fourth [of July], I also think of the freedom we have in this country,” she says.
And with that, there’s only one thing left to say: Happy Freedom Day, Beasters!