XXL Irione, against the tide: “People don’t want to look for music, they dance what they propose”

XXL Irione celebrates 20 years of rap with a show at The Roxy.  (Photo: Ailin Gomez Caraballo)
XXL Irione celebrates 20 years of rap with a show at The Roxy. (Photo: Ailin Gomez Caraballo)

once a Joey Ramone they asked him what it meant to him to be a punk. And the Ramones lead singer said: “For me it means being someone who goes against the grain and stands up to say: ‘This is who I am’“. Saving distances and genres to appeal to analogy, a XXL Irione – a whole institution in local rap and hip hop culture – fits this definition. The connection isn’t whimsical, as he raises his voice not only to rap, but also to expose what smells bad in the scene he’s referring to. Plus, he has New York punks tattooed on his left arm.

“I’m trying to reclaim rap in Argentina. And that rap sounds in my country, because people are very confused with trap, reggaeton, pop … Everything has become confused and now they interrupt the show for a pogo. We need to give some maturity to the genre: we made idols of guys so young, so small that they have no experience on the street”, Aims and shoots Irione in dialogue Television show.

It plays on Sunday 10 April at 7:00 pm at The Roxy Bar & Grill (Av. Lacroze 3499, CABA). “You will see what I have dreamed of all my life, with my live band. They will listen to rappers playing instruments, with very emotional parts”, Anticipates the show with which he celebrates 20 years with rap culture and in which he will be accompanied by Robbie Finkelmusical director and guitarist; Maurizio Girson in the battery; Seba Pielach down; Totò Brukman with keyboards and arrangements; Y Cancún in the choirs “This closes a phase, totally. I think I am publicly saying that I am one of the oldest people in this genre.“, He assures.

“Sometimes I think that if this rap thing isn’t a disease, if I haven’t ruined my life. With this I tell you everything,” says XXL Irione

He was born in 1986 in Wilde with the name of Juan Manuel Fernandez Maciuk. Son of a working father and a psychologist mother, now retired. He is also the son of records BB King, Pappo, Johnny Winter, Jaime Roos Y Canary Moon. And from a sister who took him to performances by eternal innocence Y Funny people. Until one day – or rather, a weekday night – she was 15 and he was 11, together they went to Tower Records for the presentation of the legendary compilation. hip hop nation, produced by Zeta Bosio.

“I heard it live that day AMC, Super A… They were presenting the album there, on a small stage, with a DJ scratching, rap. It was something I had never seen in my life and it blew me away. I had some brown corduroy pants that my mother put on me. And when I saw the Roll 77 pants in the audience, when we left I started pulling them down to make them look wider”Remembers Irione and laughs.

“A week later I asked my mom for money and bought that tape … And I haven’t stopped listening to it. I went crazy. Soon after, I ran into my uncle. Today he is a plastic surgeon, he is almost 60 years old … but at that moment he says to me: ‘Ah, do you like that music? I have this. ‘ and it happened to me Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill, Tricky… all of the things that made me explode. He had the gold in his hands ”, tells the music that transformed him into this culture. “From that moment on I have never stopped. And sometimes I think that if this is not a disease, if I have not ruined my life. With this I tell you everything“, sentence.

In addition to maintaining a prolific musical career, Juan Manuel has also been a factory worker for 14 years. “I know what it’s like to get up at 6 in the morning to go to work. I would like to work in an office but this is what feeds me and I am fine”, He says, ensuring that this allows him to speak as an equal“ to the worker, to the worker ”. “I took care of the machines on the corner, did the dishwasher, cleaned the shit in the bathrooms in Recoleta … How not to talk to the people who work? That’s why I struggle to understand why they put a guy singing romantic reggaeton as “the voice of a generation”“, nut.

XXL Irione with Robbie Finkel, guitarist and musical director of his band
XXL Irione with Robbie Finkel, guitarist and musical director of his band

In his discography, nourished by albums and mixtapea concept stands out that carries it as one (another) of its flags: “Antifame“. So he defines it: “I wrote it at the moment when this whole scene was exploding. I loved competitions. freestyleuntil I realized that everything was for the prize and nothing but the prize. Hip hop was demoted. It became a circus in which any salami ended up cap with the children. Obviously, there were fair races like the Alabalusa, which Dtoke did, but I feel like they manipulated rap, they used it. I look like an old man who hates But am I the only one who thinks otherwise? 99% of Argentines say: ‘How beautiful, how beautiful, what fantasy … Irione, you show hatred’ ”, he analyzes and jokes all in one go.

“When I started with all of this, I didn’t imagine this boom would happen now. I imagined that culture could grow. I fell in love with hip hop as a culture. But I didn’t even imagine that we would have to sell ourselves so much to be able to live on this. I knew we would have to deal with brands and multinationals, and it’s fantastic, because we want to dress well, travel, eat well. But not even at any price. This is why I created the counterculture: many will think that I am a failure, but I am on my side and I try to make the revolution on my side ”, she opposes.

All in all, Irione hopes that things will change, that they decrease and that those who bet on something different, real, stay on the road. “The power is in the people who think, the ones who aren’t told what to listen to, whether it’s ads, labels or playlists. We used to take a train to look for a CD from a band we liked. Now, it seems like people don’t want to look for music. It is the generation that dances what it proposes. I grew up with music that sounded differently. Don’t you realize today that everything sounds the same? They’re scamming us, you idiot. Producers have the template for each artist and they don’t start mixing voices, making an album. They record what they have and it all sounds the same, ”she closes.


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