Pop quiz: Which of the following lyrics from Genie Santiago’s new tune “Revelación” hit the hardest?
“They label us seductress, temptress / Using our bodies over minds / Exploiting our lives”;
“Our blood spilled on this earth / A sacrifice for missionaries”;
“They want to build a wall / Have us works this land / Clean their homes, raise their kids / While they dream and plan”;
“Somos divinas femininas / no me importa lo que opinan”;
Sorry, that was a trick question — there’s no wrong answer, because each truth that flows from the Boston hip-hop and R&B artist’s lips is its own much-needed “revelation.”
Santiago released the new tune today (July 24) with collaborator ALGO, unleashing a booming dose of pride in her Puerto Rican heritage, but also a mournful set of lyrical daggers explaining the prejudice faced by the Latinx community every day.
“I’ve been trying to heal my own intergenerational trauma,” says Santiago. “Even though the situation at the border isn’t my story, how can you not extend compassion to that? After all, we are in a collective struggle to decolonize and fight white supremacy.”
In a musical power move, for every declaration of pain and abuse on the track, Santiago and ALGO counter the injustice with stories of “strength, spirit, and grace.”
“Now we’re speaking in government offices / We’re teachers, doctors, artists mothers, and fathers,” Santiago sings triumphantly. Perhaps there’s no finer, simpler takeaway: After centuries of violence, discrimination, and racism, Latinx people everywhere are still thriving. And you can support and celebrate that, or you deal with it.
Every purchase of the song on Bandcamp will raise funds for Border Angels, a California nonprofit organization “aimed at assisting migrants traveling across the U.S.-Mexico border.”