The title of Cuban rapper/songwriter Eskeerdo’s latest delivery may seem blasphemous at first look, but the Miami rep (born Alexander Izquierdo) assures it’s a nod to the cat calls he gets from ladies around the world.
“Everywhere I started going, especially black girls, [girls] scream out, ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus’,” laughs Eskeerdo, referencing his long brown hair and beard. “And I would always play with them, like, ‘Come here, girl, let me save you.'” The alternate explanation? “All Jesus pieces are usually on Cuban links and I’m Cuban so it meshed together,” he says.
After teasing the project for the better part of a year (he released his self-titled EP at the top of 2015, led by the No I.D. and Infamous-produced “Manolo”), he admits it was an “uphill battle” piecing together the six-track set so that it fit his standards. “It [was] me just wanting to give the people a body of work that I’m one hundred percent satisfied with and I feel like it’s cohesive.”
He also took a 30-day Eurotrip, making pit stops in France, Italy, Switzerland and Ibiza among other places with his manager, Joel Velazquez, to pull new inspiration. “It was all about living,” he adds. “Just going around and catching a new vibe.”
Depending on your cravings, the vibes of Cuban Jesus range from turn up — like his latest releases, “Weekend Behavior” and “Nights at the Standard” — to real-life relationship struggles. Take “Passcodes,” inspired by an ex-girlfriend snooping through his phone and the deep cut “If,” a brutally honest track about not being truly happy when your ex is. “Every single thing is real events,” he says.
He also explains the main difference between Eskeerdo and Cuban Jesus is that the formal introduction is out of the way. “My first project, I wanted to tell the story of Eskeerdo and where he was from, how he grew up, the neighborhood he grew up [in] and just basically how it is to be Cuban-American in Miami off the beach ’cause the beach and Miami are two different places,” he says, distinguishing between South Beach and his native Hialeah, a city in Miami-Dade County. “Cuban Jesus is definitely more female-oriented.”
Beyond his own endeavors, Eskeerdo also penned the hook for Fifth Harmony‘s chart-topper “Work From Home” featuring Ty Dolla $ign and has been keeping his wallet full by writing songs for other artists like singers Zara Larrson and Jon Bellion. “I really wanted to focus and hone in on, ‘Okay, I’m going to go super hard on this artist s–t. I need to make sure my pockets are straight,'” he says, “’cause I’m about to press the gas really heavy.”
Listen to Eskeerdo’s Cuban Jesus below.