Quarantine Jukebox: Staying “Bilingue” With Snow Tha Product

Posted on May 05, 2020, 12:34 pm
3 mins

Alas, no gringos will be getting wasted on tequila shots at Taco Tuesday in this corner of the world, but if so inclined, we can still celebrate Cinco De Mayo at home with Snow Tha Product’s “Bilingue.” It’s one of those speedy songs designed precisely to piss off bigoted monoglots AND people who dismiss rap as a genre AND, of course, the vast center of the Venn Diagram where the two groups overlap.

Lyrically, “Bilingue” is goofy, never taking itself seriously despite Snow Tha Product’s spitfire, deadpan delivery. The hyper-saturated video is a perfect complement, with suggestive lingering shots of horchata, paletas, conchas and Flaming Hot Cheetos, naturally. The synths, the unabashed femininity and sense of humor make for a hot little bop, and a perfect encapsulation of Snow Tha Product’s Southern Californian Chicana identity.

It may not be the overt protest song that “Ohio” is (featured yesterday for May 4), but the sly message of “Bilingue” goes far beyond the cheeky lil “Fuck Trump” that “slips out.” It’s about unapologetically owning a complex history and identity, one that is still being litigated by a populace that chanted “Build The Wall” and attacks people for speaking anything but English in public. But let’s face it: A lot of folks who find those politics abhorrent still aren’t cozy with Snow and other women of color. “Bilingue” doesn’t tell them to fuck off directly, but it’s clear that people who have no space for Chicana feminism can get very creative about where they stick their own paletas.

In Quarantine With Snow Tha Product’s “Bilingue”

The vicarious pleasure of summer treats. Check.

Fabulous women getting dressed up for friends even though they only see the upper half in a virtual setting. Check.

Social distancing loophole of shots delivered via squirt gun. BIG Check.

Minority populations, diverse as they are, have one thing in common: They are relentlessly asked to prove themselves, to work harder than anyone else to be taken seriously. Women can attest to this in general (hence Girl Boss Feminism™️), and women who refuse to diminish their joy, who own their sensuality and fun-loving nature…well, they are going to be dismissed by a lot of folks, even those who might claim a feminist mantle.

If we see this tide turning generationally and gradually, it is most visible around women rappers of color, such as Snow Tha Product. Hence,”Bilingue” feels apt for the occasion and as a general celebration that some things are (almost imperceptibly) getting a little better. (Kinda like my progress on Duolingo, I guess.)

For those who want to geek out about the creation of the beat for “Bilingue,” check out the video below with producer Sikwitit.

T.s. Flock is a writer and arts critic based in Seattle and co-founder of Vanguard Seattle.