Of Mexican Descent, Exitos y mas Exitos: Edición De Lujo (1998/2006)
The history Of Mexican Descent, and its two members 2Mex and Xololanxinxo, consists of CD-Rs and tapes pressed in small quantities, ambitious full-lengths on long-since-disappeared record labels, and innumerable tracks and guest spots on hastily-assembled compilations. The reissue of their 1998 album together, Exitos y mas Exitos, is an excellent example. Released on L.A. rapper Busdriver’s Temporary Whatever imprint (with help from Mush Records), this edición de lujo combines the original eight-song cassette album with nine unreleased tracks. Exitos y mas Exitos is ostensibly about la raza and Mexican pride, but most of the tracks exude identity through metaphor and confidence instead of dialect and dogma. “This cage exists for me/I sit inside of it thinking of people that don’t even know I exist/I’m an absence of breath; I’m a missing colony,” rhymes Xololanxinxo on “All Turn Native.” “In your eyes lies reflection of the original resident/Stop calling me immigrant and I won’t mind sharing my continent.” Normally known for a bewildering and grinding vocal style, 2Mex rhymes in a straight-up cadence here, albeit with dexterity and precision. “My words are my shield/Ultimately my power source/And nothing can ever stop me or my Trojan horse,” raps 2Mex on “Lady of the Lake.” In contrast, Xololanxinxo’s appearances are more experimental – he affects a booming, top of the mountain bellow on “Money is Meaningless.” But for the most part, Exitos y mas Exitos captures the L.A. veterans before the speed-rap styles they later became known for.