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Niña Dioz is the Mexican Rapper We Need, and “Tambalea” is Proof

Carla Reyna is challenging standards as a queer Mexican woman in the hip-hop industry, and her music is just as powerful.

“En el universo no hay coincidencia,” raps Niña Dioz in her latest song. (This translates to “In the universe there are no coincidences.”) And it certainly is no coincidence that “Tambalea,” the leading single off of her upcoming album Reyna, is a powerhouse. When someone like Dioz collaborates with artists like Ceci Bastida and Lida Pimienta, the result cannot be anything less than emotion, empowerment, and a message of change.

Carla Reyna, who hails from Monterey, Mexico, began performing under the name Niña Dioz around 2007. When she began making music, not many women were in the rap scene. Dioz often found herself to be the only girl at hip-hop shows. Being openly gay only made her more separated from the rest of the industry. “I was afraid of being bullied for being a queer woman,” she explained in an interview with PulsoPOP. Luckily, most of her audiences were welcoming.

With a newly established platform and a foothold as the only openly gay Mexican woman in hip-hop, Niña Dioz had a chance to speak out using music.

Dioz’s newest release, “Tambalea,” is a song about standing up for yourself in the face of rejection. “Who cares about your skin color, your religion, your sexual preference?” she says. “F*ck what everyone thinks.”

The song features a laid-back beat with emotional and powerful vocals from three separate artists, each bringing personal experiences into the track. To Niña Dioz, the song is about many separate issues.

Niña sings about gender violence in her home country, and how grateful she is to be rising up. “Just because I am a woman from Latin America, it’s a blessing to be living for another day, because where I’m from in Mexico, women are getting killed every day, just because we’re women,” the rapper explains.

Another emotion Niña brings to the song is freedom from oppression and the power of speaking out.

“Subimos paso a paso
Ya no puedes ignorarlo”

“We climbed step by step
You can not ignore it anymore”

“I had to deal with a lot of criticism for my physical appearance or my sexual preference. When you’re a woman using your voice and your platform, people criticize you,” says Dioz. “A lot of people have the mentality that women belong only in the kitchen, and no. Aqui estamos haciendo ruido.”

Niña Dioz’s full album Reyna will be released on May 11. According to the rapper, Reyna will be her most personal album.

“Reyna is my last name, but at the same time, I feel like Reyna is when you as a woman finally find your own strength that maybe was taken from you without you even noticing. Maybe you didn’t know you had this power, but then one day you awaken to your own truth and decide to embrace who you are and decide to recover your own power.”

 

For women like Niña, to exist is to be doubted, but to live is to push forward.

Tu me hiciste de menos ayer.. / Pero yo me aferré / El tope es el cielo

You pushed me away yesterday

But I held on

The sky is the limit

 

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Written by P H Hoffman

I'm generally passionate about music, space, and basic human rights.