Hip Hop Hoodíos, the Jewish Latino rap duo, is back with a new song that has a decidedly Jewish — and political — angle. “Mexican Miller” savages Stephen Miller, the Jewish adviser to President Trump known for his extreme right-wing and anti-immigration views. The song was released Oct. 2 with a satirical animated video.
“We’re going to get our message across with a sense of humor,” said Hoodíos rapper Josh Norek.
Norek, a Lafayette resident, came up with the idea for the song while jogging. He was streaming music, and the 1983 song “That’s All” by Genesis came on. Norek suddenly got inspired.
“I started laughing,” he said. “This would be the funniest song if Stephen Miller woke up and found he was Mexican.”
The result is a bilingual collaboration with the S.F. Mission District-based Hip Spanic Allstars and Mexican rapper Pato Machete, with Norek voicing the Miller character in English as a self-hating Jew turned self-hating Mexican. Pato Machete, in Spanish, imagines the voice of an immigrant.
Norek said the very fact of Miller’s liberal Jewish upbringing in Santa Monica is what makes his views so odious. “It’s just so diametrically opposed!” he said.
Hip Hop Hoodíos was founded in New York and released its first album in 2002. The name is a pun — Judíos is Spanish for Jews — and both Norek and Abraham Vélez are Hispanic and Jewish. They took some time off in recent years for family and other work (Norek is also a music executive), then returned to the scene with a release this spring. Their last performance was in San Francisco in June.
“We took about an 11-year absence from making music,” Norek said. “It feels nice to be back.”
Now, with “Mexican Miller,” the two are pulling no punches as far as politics goes. Norek said the reaction to the song on streaming services has been amazing, although they’d had trouble marketing the video on YouTube because the platform said the clip had “offensive content.”
For Norek, the idea that publicity was being blocked for a song criticizing Miller just underscored the importance of what they were talking about.
“I was like, really? Kids in cages? Because that’s happening in real life,” he said.